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NCJ Number: 43229 Find in a Library
Title: OFFICIALS FEAR LONG FLAT TERMS
Journal: CORRECTIONS MAGAZINE  Volume:3  Issue:3  Dated:(SEPTEMBER 1977)  Pages:43-46
Author(s): E MAY
Corporate Author: Correctional Information Service, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Correctional Information Service, Inc
New York, NY 10017
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: SIX CORRECTIONS ADMINISTRATORS, ALL OF WHOM WERE CRITICAL OF DETERMINATE SENTENCING, WERE INTERVIEWED. VIEWS OF SOME PROPONENTS OF FIXED SENTENCING ARE ALSO PRESENTED.
Abstract: LAWS AND PROPOSALS FOR DETERMINATE SENTENCING, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN WHICH LEGISLATURES WOULD ESTABLISH FLAT PRISON TERMS, ARE A SUBJECT OF MUCH CONCERN AMONG CORRECTIONS OFFICIALS. THE DETERMINATE SENTENCING PROPOSALS ARE DESIGNED SO THAT SHORTER PRISON TERMS WOULD ACCOMPANY FIXED AND UNIFORM PUNISHMENT. THE COMMISSIONERS QUESTIONED PREDICT, HOWEVER, THAT PUBLIC OPINION CALLING FOR HARSHER PUNISHMENT WILL FORCE LEGISLATORS TO MANDATE LONGER SENTENCES. SOME OF THE CORRECTIONS ADMINISTRATORS FEAR THAT PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION WILL INCREASE TO COUNTERACT THE DROP IN JUDICIAL DISCRETION WHICH THE REFORMS MAY GENERATE, AND THAT, IF PAROLE IS ELIMINATED, MANY INMATES WILL BE DEPRIVED OF THE HOPE OF EARLY RELEASE WHICH HELPS REDUCE THE TENSIONS OF CONFINEMENT. ADMINISTRATORS FIND THAT DETERMINATE SENTENCING APPEALS TO BOTH LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, BUT FOR DIFFERENT REASONS: LIBERALS WISH TO GET RID OF GLARING DISPARITIES IN SENTENCING, WHILE CONSERVATIVES SEEK TO RAISE MINIMUM SENTENCES FOR PUNITIVE PURPOSES. MANY OF THE COMMISSIONERS EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT THE DETERMINATE SENTENCING MOVEMENT IS A 'FAD' AND PREFERRED TO EXERCISE CAUTION BEFORE ADOPTING UNTESTED MEASURES. SOME PROPONENTS OF SENTENCING REFORM FAVOR LIMITING DISCRETION BY INSTITUTING SPECIFIC WRITTEN GUIDELINES FOR PAROLE BOARDS AND JUDGES.
Index Term(s): Determinate Sentencing; Incarceration; Judicial discretion; Laws and Statutes; Management; Parole; Parole board discretion; Reform
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