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NCJ Number: 49852 Find in a Library
Title: STATEMENT IN OPPOSITION TO MANDATORY SENTENCES
Author(s): W G NAGEL
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN OFFICIAL OF THE INSTITUTE OF CORRECTIONS OF AMERICAN FOUNDATION, INC. EXPRESSES OPPOSITION TO PASSAGE OF MANDATORY SENTENCING LEGISLATION IN CONNECTICUT.
Abstract: MANDATORY SENTENCING PROPOSALS ARE SAID TO BE 'WILD' RESPONSES TO PRESSURES ON ELECTED OFFICIALS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT CRIME. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT THE PROPOSALS MANDATE SENTENCES FOR STREET CRIMINALS, NOT FOR PEOPLE WHO POLLUTE THE ENVIRONMENT, STEAL FROM PENSION FUNDS, OR CHEAT ON INCOME TAXES. MANDATORY SENTENCING LEGISLATION IS SAID TO BE CLASS LEGISLATION, DIRECTED AGAINST THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN INJURED MOST BY SOCIETY'S ECONOMIC AND RACIAL INEQUITIES. THE DUTCH POLICY OF MINIMAL USE OF PRISONS, REFLECTING THE VIEW THAT THE PENAL SYSTEM IS ITSELF A SOCAL PROBLEM, IS NOTED, AS IS A DUTCH CRIMINOLOGIST'S OBSERVATION THAT A SOCIETY WHICH OPTS FOR IMPRISONMENT AS A MEANS OF SOLVING ITS PROBLEMS OFTEN IS IN FACT RETREATING INTO A PSEUDOSOLUTION. A DISCUSSION OF THE PROBLEM OF ABUSES OF DISCRETIONARY POWER BY JUDGES AND PAROLE BOARDS POINTS OUT THAT MANDATORY SENTENCES MERELY CHANGE THE LOCALE WHERE DISCRETION IS PRACTICED. WAYS IN WHICH POLICE, PROSECUTORS, AND JURIES EXERCISE DISCRETION UNDER MANDATORY SENTENCING LAWS ARE CITED. IT IS ALSO POINTED OUT THAT, BY DISCOURAGING GUILTY PLEAS, MANDATORY SENTENCES AFFECT COURT BACKLOGS. CONNECTICUT LEGISLATORS ARE ALSO REMINDED THAT MANDATORY SENTENCES WILL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE, SHARP INCREASES IN ADMISSIONS TO A PRISON SYSTEM THAT IS ALREADY NEAR OR AT CAPACITY. IT IS OBSERVED THAT MANDATORY SENTENCING LAWS IN NEW YORK AND FLORIDA HAVE INCREASED PRISON POPULATIONS BUT HAVE NOT REDUCED CRIME RATES. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Connecticut; Critiques; Mandatory Sentencing
Note: PRESENTED BEFORE THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY OF CONNECTICUT'S GENERAL ASSEMBLY, HARTFORD, MARCH 18, 1977
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49852

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