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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 128394 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Ultimate Impacts of Sentencing Reforms and Speedy Trial Laws
Author(s): T B Marvell; C E Moody Jr
Corporate Author: Justec Research
United States of America
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 136
Sponsoring Agency: Justec Research
Williamsburg, VA 23185
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 88-IJ-CX-0045
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report evaluates two types of reforms, broad sentencing reforms and laws that mandate prison terms for crimes with deadly weapons.
Abstract: Broad reforms which have been adopted in 20 States fall into three categories: determinate sentencing, presumptive sentencing, and sentencing guidelines. During the last two decades, nearly all States have enacted laws establishing prison terms for crimes committed with deadly weapons. Most of these laws require mandatory minimum sentences, typically 1 or 2 years for first offenders. Most laws also provide for enhancing the sentence beyond that which would normally be given for the felony. Research into the impact of new sentencing laws on prisons and crime rates found little relation between sentencing laws and prison and crime variables. Some sentencing reforms, however, did exhibit relationships; presumptive sentencing led to more prison admissions and a higher prison population, and sentencing guidelines were followed by a lower prison population. These impacts differed greatly from State to State, and their magnitudes were usually small. On the other hand, determinate sentencing was followed by a sizable increase in the prison term index, resulting in longer sentences. Regression analysis found statistically significant increases in murder and robbery rates after sentencing guidelines and in robbery rates after presumptive sentencing laws went into effect. Weapon laws were followed by statistically significant, but small reductions in murder and robbery. Similar patters were found with respect to the impact of speedy trial laws. It is concluded that sentencing laws are not responsible for the growing prison population and that they do little to dampen crime rates. 513 references and 17 tables
Main Term(s): Sentencing reform
Index Term(s): Determinate Sentencing; Presumptive sentences; Sentencing guidelines
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