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NCJ Number: NCJ 153853   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: National Assessment of Structured Sentencing
  Document URL: Text PDF 
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 152
  Series: BJA Monographs
  Annotation: The last two decades of sentencing reforms designed to replace indeterminate sentencing with structured sentencing schemes such as determinate sentencing, mandatory minimum penalties, and sentencing guidelines were evaluated with respect to their impacts and the effectiveness of the approaches used.
Abstract: The analysis revealed that 16 States and the Federal Government have implemented or are about to implement presumptive or voluntary/advisory sentencing guidelines. Another five States have adopted determinate sentencing systems. All States use some version of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Most States continue to allow inmates to earn good-time credits either to reduce a sentence or to advance a parole eligibility date. Most States have retained some form of discretionary release and postrelease supervision. Most States do not use sentencing guidelines. The structure of sentencing guidelines varies dramatically for both assessing sentencing disposition criteria and determining sentence length. Implementation of sentencing guidelines often requires 2 years. Although guidelines have helped reduce sentencing guidelines, disparity reductions have eroded somewhat over time. Findings indicated that structured sentencing reforms have not had any appreciable effect on the problem of prison crowding. As State prisons remain crowded, they will continue to use discretionary early release programs. Findings indicated that sentencing guidelines developed by sentencing commissions are the best method of achieving the goals of reducing sentencing disparity, incarceration rates, and prison crowding. States should consider nine approaches in developing structured sentencing policies. The Federal Government can assist States in this effort in several ways. Tables, figures, map, and footnotes
Main Term(s): Court reform
Index Term(s): Indeterminate sentences ; Criminology ; Sentencing disparity ; Mandatory Sentencing ; Determinate Sentencing ; Sentencing commissions ; Sentencing guidelines ; Sentencing reform ; BJA grant-related documents
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Assistance
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 92-SA-CX-0003
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Survey
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: BJA Monograph
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