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NCJ Number: 64321 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: FELONY SENTENCING IN WISCONSIN
Author(s): S SHANE-DUBOW; W F SMITH; K B HARALSON
Corporate Author: Wisconsin Ctr for Public Policy, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 365
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Wisconsin Council on Criminal Justice
Madison, WI 53702
Wisconsin Ctr for Public Policy, Inc
Madison, WI 53703
Wisconsin Judicial Planning Council
Madison, WI 53214
Grant Number: 77-130-S-01-7; 77-DF-2966
Type: Statistics
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A RESEARCH STUDY DESIGNED TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES OF SENTENCING VARIABILITY AND POSSIBLE SENTENCING REFORM IN WISCONSIN IS DISCUSSED; DETERMINATE AND INDETERMINATE PLAN COMPARISONS ARE HIGHLIGHTED.
Abstract: THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY WAS TO REPRESENT WHAT ACTUALLY OCCURS IN CRIMINAL SENTENCING PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES UNDER WISCONSIN'S INDETERMINATE SENTENCING STRUCTURE AND TO PROJECT THE IMPACT SENTENCING REFORM MIGHT HAVE HAD ON THE INDETERMINATE SENTENCING STRUCTURE AS IT EXISTED IN 1974 AND 1975. TO ESTABLISH THE DATA BASE, RESEARCHERS SELECTED FELONIES CHARGED AND PROCESSED IN FIVE WISCONSIN COUNTIES DURING 1974 AND 1975. THESE FELONIES WERE ANALYZED TO ASCERTAIN IF THERE WAS ANY SYSTEMATIC VARIABILITY IN THE SENTENCE IMPOSED. ANALYSIS SOUGHT TO DETERMINE IF THERE WERE VARIABLES OR CLUSTERS OF VARIABLES IN RELATION TO THE OFFENDER, THE OFFENSE, OR THE COURT ASSOCIATED WITH SYSTEMATIC OR PATTERNED SENTENCING DISPARITY. EXTRAPOLATIONS WERE THEN MADE REGARDING EFFECTS OF SENTENCING CHANGES ON THE INDETERMINATE SYSTEM. PARTICULAR ATTENTION WAS GIVEN TO POSTSENTENCING INSTITUTIONALIZATION. LESS QUANTITATIVE INFORMATION WAS ALSO CONSIDERED INCLUDING A HISTORIC REVIEW OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF PUNISHMENT AND INTERVIEWS WITH INMATES AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE PERSONNEL. ANALYSIS OF THE DATA ON 3,589 CHARGES INDICATED 3 MAJOR FINDINGS. FIRST, ALTHOUGH THE IDENTITIES OF INDIVIDUAL JUDGES OCCASIONALLY HAD A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON A DECISION REGARDING SENTENCE TYPE, THEY DID NOT INFLUENCE A GIVEN DECISION TYPE ANY MORE THAN VARIABLES WHICH MIGHT LEGITIMATELY BE SEEN AS CAUSES FOR DIFFERENCES IN SENTENCING. SECOND, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S RECOMMENDATION WAS FOUND TO HAVE THE GREATEST EFFECT ON THE DECISION AS TO SENTENCE TYPE. THIRD, THE IDENTITIES OF INDIVIDUAL JUDGES WERE ASSOCIATED WITH VARIATIONS IN SENTENCE LENGTH, SUPPORTING CRITICISMS OF INDETERMINATE SENTENCING. IMPLEMENTATION OF DETERMINATE SENTENCING IN WISCONSIN REMAINS PROBLEMATIC. PERHAPS THE CONCEPT OF SENTENCING GUIDELINES WOULD BEST HELP TO REDUCE THE SENTENCING VARIABILITY ASSOCIATED WITH PARTICULAR JUDGES. ANOTHER POSSIBILITY IS THE ADOPTION OF THE MODEL SENTENCING ACT. FOOTNOTES, TABLES, APPENDIXES CONTAINING STUDY DATA AND METHODOLOGY, AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY, WITH APPROXIMATELY 150 ENTRIES, ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Determinate Sentencing; Indeterminate sentences; Sentencing disparity; Sentencing guidelines; Statistical analysis; Wisconsin
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