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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 165570 Find in a Library
Title: Sentencing Matters
Author(s): M Tonry
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 229
Sponsoring Agency: Oxford University Press, Inc
New York, NY 10016
Publication Number: ISBN 0-19-509498-0
Sale Source: Oxford University Press, Inc
198 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book provides a comprehensive overview of research, policy developments, and practical experience concerning sentencing and sanctions.
Abstract: It examines the effects of increased penalties and whether America has become a safer place as a result. The author contends that in order for sentencing to be fair and effective, comprehensive and defensible policies must be in place and mechanisms must exist to implement those policies. The discussion also investigated mandatory penalties, community sanctions, and sentencing changes in other countries. Sentencing policies are proposed for the 21st century. The author argues that a just sentencing system would be simultaneously respectful of the public interests in safety, crime prevention, and economy, as well as the need to ensure that convicted offenders are treated fairly and consistently. In the context of this philosophy, he recommends that legislatures repeal all mandatory minimum penalties, including "three-strikes" laws. Also, legislatures should invest the funds needed to establish credible, well- managed noncustodial penalties that can serve as sanctions intermediate between prison and probation. Authority for creation of rules for sentencing would be delegated to an administrative agency, often but not necessarily called a sentencing commission. The sentencing commission would be directed to develop, promulgate, and monitor systems of sentencing rules, usually but not necessarily called sentencing guidelines. The sentencing commission would be directed to devise guidelines for custodial penalties that set maximum presumptive terms of confinement for all cases and minimum presumptive terms only for the most serious crimes. 377 references
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Intermediate sanctions; Mandatory Sentencing; Sentence effectiveness; Sentencing reform; Sentencing/Sanctions
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