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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 166540 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Citizen's Guide to Structured Sentencing
Corporate Author: North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Cmssn
United States of America
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Cmssn
Raleigh, NC 27602
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Cmssn
P.O. Box 2472
Raleigh, NC 27602
United States of America
Type: Citizen Involvement Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This booklet, intended as information for the general public, describes the principles, content, and implementation of North Carolina's new "structured sentencing" mandates.
Abstract: In 1990 the North Carolina General Assembly created the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission to make recommendations to restore rationality, order, and truth to the criminal justice system. In 1993 the General Assembly reviewed, amended, and adopted the Commission's recommendations. The new law is called "structured sentencing" and applies to all felony and misdemeanor crimes (except driving while impaired) committed on or after October 1, 1994. Subsequent changes to the law were made during the 1995 legislative session and apply to crimes committed on or after December 1, 1995. The principles of structured sentencing are that sentencing policies should be rational, truthful, consistent, and set resource priorities. Under structured sentencing, parole is eliminated and truth in sentencing is restored. The new law sets priorities for the use of expensive correctional resources and balances sentencing policies with correctional capacity. Felony crimes are classified into letter classes (A through I) depending on their seriousness. Misdemeanor crimes are in four classes, depending on seriousness. Felons are classified into one of six prior record levels, depending on the extent and gravity of their prior record. Misdemeanor offenders are classified into one of three prior conviction levels depending on their number of prior convictions. Other topics discussed in this booklet are how the type of sentence is determined; definitions of the various sentence types ("active punishment," "intermediate punishment," and "community punishment"); how much of the prison term must be served; and the nature of postrelease supervision. Also discussed are how the likelihood of imprisonment has changed under the new system, the impact on jail and prison populations, and how community punishments are imposed under structured sentencing. Punishment charts are shown and their use is explained.
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): North Carolina; Sentencing factors; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing/Sanctions
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