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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136802 Find in a Library
Title: Public Policy and Sentencing Reform: The Politics of Corrections
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:56  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1992)  Pages:4-10
Author(s): P J Benekos
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
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
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines 1991 Pennsylvania legislation on sentencing reform in the context of prison crowding and the politicized nature of crime control policy.
Abstract: The primary goal of the 1991 legislation was the punishment of offenders by requiring them to serve a sentence tied directly to crime severity. The legislation restructured the State's sentencing policy from an indeterminate to a determinate one and changed the role of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. An amendment to the legislation establishes a bifurcated system of release in which "nondangerous" inmates are scheduled for release at the expiration of the minimum date of sentence imposed by the court. Sentence reductions can be earned at the rate of 5 days per month. "Dangerous" criminals, however, are reviewed at the date of minimum eligibility for release; if the board determines they still pose a risk to the community, release can be denied. In either case, the legislation provides for victims to have an advocate to represent their concerns. The legislation is also expected to reduce prison crowding by making more cells available with greater predictability. If good time is also taken into consideration, the sentence length can potentially be reduced for all inmates. This legislation aims to provide just and predictable sentences that will be shorter than previous indeterminate sentences. 30 references and 1 table
Main Term(s): Determinate Sentencing; Sentencing reform
Index Term(s): Pennsylvania; Prison overcrowding
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