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NCJ Number: 62873 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: TESTIMONY OF MILTON BURDMAN (FROM RESEARCH INTO CRIMINAL SENTENCING, 1978 - SEE NCJ-62872)
Author(s): M BURDMAN
Corporate Author: US Congress
House Cmtte on Science and Technology
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: US Congress
Washington, DC 20515
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN JUSTICE INSTITUTE CRITICIZES DETERMINATE SENTENCING AND DISCUSSES PAROLE AND THE JUDICIAL OPTION OF DECIDING WHETHER OR NOT TO COMMIT AN OFFENDER TO PRISON.
Abstract: IN THE CONTROVERSY OVER DETERMINATE AND INDETERMINATE SENTENCING, BASIC RESEARCH INTO SENTENCING POLICIES, ALTERNATIVES, AND CONSEQUENCES OF SENTENCING PRACTICES HAS BEEN NEGLECTED. DISCRETION IN SENTENCING HAS BEEN CLEARLY ABUSED, BUT REFORMERS HAVE PROPOSED A REDUCTION IN DISCRETION BASED ON A CONDEMNATION OF THE REHABILITATION CONCEPT AND PAROLE BOARD JUDGMENT. THE OBJECTIVES OF PAROLE ARE WIDELY MISUNDERSTOOD. A PAROLE BOARD PROVIDES A MEANS OF COMPENSATING FOR DISPARATE SENTENCING PRACTICES AMONG DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES AND COURTS. IT ALSO IS A RELEASE OPTION IN WHICH A PORTION OF THE PRISON TERM IS SERVED UNDER SUPERVISED COMMUNITY PLACEMENT. RESTRICTING THE ROLE OF PAROLE BOARDS AND JUDGES WILL NOT MAKE SENTENCES MORE EQUITABLE FOR THREE REASONS: (1) CRIMINAL CODES WILL NEVER BE CAPABLE OF PLACING ALL CRIMES AND OFFENDERS IN SUFFICIENTLY NARROW CATEGORIES SO THAT INDIVIDUAL JUDGMENT IS UNNECESSARY, (2) FLAT SENTENCING IGNORES THE DISCRETIONARY CHOICE OF WHETHER OR NOT TO SENTENCE A CONVICTED OFFENDER TO PRISON, AND (3) JUDICIAL OPTIONS ARE NECESSARY TO ACCOUNT FOR INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN OFFENDERS. TO ILLUSTRATE THE PREVAILING USE OF DISCRETION, DATA FROM CALIFORNIA ARE PRESENTED WHICH SHOW THAT ONLY 26 PERCENT OF PERSONS CONVICTED IN 1976 WERE PLACED IN STATE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS. BOARDS AND COURTS NEED EXPLICIT GUIDELINES, BUT THE BASIC PRINCIPLES UNDERLYING INDETERMINATE SENTENCING ARE SOUND. LONG-TERM SYSTEMS FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS SHOULD BE DEVELOPED TO ASSIST DECISIONMAKERS.
Index Term(s): Determinate Sentencing; Indeterminate sentences; Judicial discretion; Parole board discretion; Sentencing commissions; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing/Sanctions
Note: TESTIMONY GIVEN ON MAY 16, 1978
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62873

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