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NCJ Number: 163180 Find in a Library
Title: Breaking Up Prison Gridlock
Journal: ABA Journal  Volume:82  Dated:(May 1996)  Pages:70-75
Author(s): L Stansky
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 6
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the status of sentencing guidelines in the States in general and in particular States.
Abstract: An overview of State sentencing schemes encompasses various types of sentencing. Twenty-nine States still completely or partially retain indeterminate sentencing procedures, which invest most control of sentencing in the judiciary. A few States moved to determinate sentencing systems in the late 1970's, replacing flexible sentences with fixed penalties for specific crimes. Presumptive guidelines are a form of determinate sentencing; they commonly use a scoring system for sentencing and often authorize an independent body or commission to develop relevant standards. Voluntary guidelines for sentencing provide a baseline and represent a movement away from unlimited discretion, but they are not as inflexible as presumptive sentencing schemes. After an overview of various sentencing schemes, North Carolina's sentencing system is summarized, since it is being heralded as a model for the Nation. The sentencing system focuses on imprisoning only hardcore violent offenders, while using other correctional alternatives for nonviolent offenders. Washington State's experience with sentencing guidelines is presented to illustrate the increasing political pressures facing States with guidelines systems. Wisconsin is presented as an example of how sentencing guidelines have been adopted and then abolished. Sentencing guidelines still live on but with modifications from the original system in Tennessee and Minnesota.
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Minnesota; North Carolina; Sentence effectiveness; Sentencing guidelines; Tennessee; Washington; Wisconsin
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