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NCJ Number: 51618 Find in a Library
Title: DISCRETION AND THE DETERMINATE SENTENCE - ITS DISTRIBUTION, CONTROL, AND EFFECT ON TIME SERVED
Journal: CRIME AND DELINQUENCY  Volume:24  Issue:4  Dated:(OCTOBER 1978)  Pages:428445
Author(s): T R CLEAR; J D HEWITT; R M REGOLI
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Institute for Scientific Information
Philadelphia, PA 19104
National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Newark, NJ 07102
UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
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United States of America

Institute for Scientific Information
University City Science Ctr
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Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE SENTENCING REFORM (DETERMINATE SENTENCING) INCORPORATED IN THE 1977 INDIANA PENAL CODE IS EVALUATED REGARDING REFORM PROMISE AND DELIVERY WITHIN A BUREAUCRATIC STRUCTURE.
Abstract: SENTENCING REFORMERS HAVE CRITICIZED CURRENT SENTENCING PRACTICES AS BEING ABUSIVE AND ROOTED IN UNREALISTIC ASSUMPTIONS. MOST REFORMERS AGREE THAT CHANGES MUST REDUCE OR ELIMINATE THE DISCRETION AVAILABLE TO SENTENCING JUDGES, REDUCE OR ELIMINATE DISCREPANCIES IN SENTENCING, AND PREVENT UNREASONABLE INCREASES IN PRISON POPULATIONS. THE INDIANA PENAL CODE REPRESENTS COMPREHENSIVE RESTRUCTURING OF THE INDIANA CRIMINAL LAW TO PROVIDE FOR DETERMINATE SENTENCING. HOWEVER, IT IS FELT THAT THE POTENTIAL FOR DISCRETION HAS NOT BEEN REDUCED. SIX CRIME CLASSIFICATIONS ARE USED TO DESCRIBE 200 OFFENSES, AND A SENTENCNG SCHEME IS ALLOTTED TO EACH OF THE CATEGORIES. THE CODE GREATLY EXTENDS PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION, INCREASES JUDICIAL DISCRETION PARTICULARLY WITH RESPECT TO INTERPRETATION OF AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING FACTORS WHICH INFLUENCE THE DECISION TO SUSPEND SENTENCES OR THE SELECTION OF FIXED PENALTIES, AND ELIMINATES PAROLE DECISIONS WHILE ALLOCATING CONSIDERABLE DISCRETION TO CORRECTIONAL OFFICIALS WITH REGARD TO DETERMINING INMATES' CREDIT TIME FOR PAROLE. FIXED SENTENCING WAS INTENDED TO BENEFIT BOTH THE LEGISLATURE, BY INCREASING ITS INFLUENCE OVER SENTENCE SUSPENSIONS, AND THE INMATES, BY ALLOWING THEM THE ABILITY TO CONTROL CREDIT TIME THROUGH INSTITUTIONAL BEHAVIOR. HOWEVER, THESE CONTROLS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED BY THE PROSECUTOR'S ABILITY TO BYPASS SUSPENSION REQUIREMENTS AND THE CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS' INCREASED CONTROL OVER CREDIT TIME PROVISIONS. THE PROSECUTOR'S ABILITY TO PLEA BARGAIN IS ENHANCED BY PROVISIONS PROHIBITING SUSPENDED SENTENCES FOR SECOND-FELONY OFFENDERS. FIRST OFFENDERS CAN BE COERCED INTO PLEADING GUILTY TO REDUCED CHARGES, FOR WHICH SUSPENSION IS PERMITTED. A PROJECTION OF THE IMPACT OF THIS PENALTY SCHEME INDICATES THAT SOME SENTENCES MAY BE ALMOST 50 PERCENT LONGER IN INDIANA FOR SOME FIRST-TIME FELONY OFFENDERS. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT MANY OF THE CODE'S PROBLEMS COULD BE ELIMINATED BY REDUCING THE LENGTH OF PRISON SENTENCES. REFERENCES AND TABULAR DATA ARE PROVIDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel; Criminal codes; Determinate Sentencing; Indeterminate sentences; Indiana; Judicial discretion; Parole conditions; Prisoner's rights; Prosecutorial discretion; Sentencing disparity; Sentencing/Sanctions; Suspended sentences
Note: PAPER PRESENTED AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY, NOV 1977, ATLANTA, GEORGIA
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51618

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