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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51980 Find in a Library
Title: CORRECTIONAL POLICY, NEO-RETRIBUTIONISM, AND THE DETERMINATE SENTENCE
Journal: JUSTICE SYSTEM JOURNAL  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(FALL 1978)  Pages:26-48
Author(s): T R CLEAR
Corporate Author: Institute for Court Management
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: Institute for Court Management
Denver, CO 80202
Institute for Scientific Information
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Sale Source: Institute for Scientific Information
University City Science Ctr
3501 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE NEORETRIBUTIVE MOVEMENT, WITH ITS EMPHASIS ON MINIMIZING CORRECTIONAL TREATMENT AND RESTRUCTURING SENTENCING DISCRETION, IS CRITICIZED.
Abstract: MOST DISCUSSIONS OF CORRECTIONS HAVE ASSUMED THAT ITS PURPOSES ARE PRIMARILY HUMANITARIAN: REHABILITATION OF THE OFFENDER, ISOLATION, DETERRENCE, AND SO FORTH. ONLY IN THE LAST FEW YEARS HAS A RENEWED INTEREST IN THE NONUTILITARIAN, RETRIBUTIVE PURPOSES OF PUNISHMENT EMERGED. ARGUMENTS AGAINST REHABILITATIVE TREATMENT SEEM TO FLOW FROM TWO DIFFERING VIEWPOINTS: THE PRAGMATIC POSITION, WHICH SEES NOTHING INHERENTLY EVIL IN TREATMENT, BUT FINDS THAT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TREATMENT REQUIRES CAUTION; AND THE IDEALISTIC POSITION, WHICH FINDS TREATMENT TO BE INHERENTLY WRONG. WHILE THE TWO THEMES OF THE INEFFECTIVENESS AND ABUSIVENESS OF TREATMENT EMERGE IN THE PRAGMATIC POSITION, THE CENTRAL POINT OF THE IDEALISTIC POSITION IS AN AFFIRMATIVE ONE, THAT PUNISHMENT IS THE ONLY PROPER PURPOSE OF CORRECTIONS. MUCH OF THE CRITICISM OF TREATMENT OR REHABILITATION IS DIRECTED TOWARD THE MEDICAL-MODEL OF CRIME, WHICH IS A PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC APPROACH TO TREATMENT. MUCH OF THE PRAGMATIC CRITICISM OF TREATMENT, AS WELL AS ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE OF DISCRETION, MAY BE DIRECTED TOWARD THIS MEDICAL-MODEL APPROACH. HOWEVER, NEORETRIBUTIVE THINKING HAS RESULTED IN DETERMINATE SENTENCING REFORM IN SOME STATES. A RETURN TO THE DETERMINATE SENTENCE IDEALLY WILL ELIMINATE SENTENCE DISPARITY, BUT VIRTUALLY ALL AUTHORITIES AGREE THAT A SYSTEM OF TOTAL ENFORCEMENT WITH IDENTICAL PENALTIES FOR LEGALLY EQUIVALENT ACTS WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE, INTOLERABLE, AND UNJUST. DETERMINATE SENTENCING MAY ALSO LEAD TO PRISON OVERCROWDING AND MAY, WITH 'GOOD TIME' REPLACING PAROLE, LEAD TO ADMINISTRATIVE MANIPULATION OF INMATES BY THE CORRECTIONAL STAFF AND THE LOSS OF THE DUE PROCESS SAFEGUARDS APPLICABLE TO PAROLE BOARD HEARINGS. REFERENCES ARE FOOTNOTED.
Index Term(s): Determinate Sentencing; Judicial discretion; Reform; Rehabilitation; Sentencing/Sanctions; Theory
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51980

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