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NCJ Number: 66612 Find in a Library
Title: COOPTATION OF FIXED SENTENCING REFORM
Journal: CRIME AND DELINQUENCY  Volume:26  Issue:2  Dated:(APRIL 1980)  Pages:206-225
Author(s): D F GREENBERG; D HUMPHRIES
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Institute for Scientific Information
Philadelphia, PA 19104
National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Newark, NJ 07102
UMI Dissertation Services
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Sale Source: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
S.I. Newhouse Ctr at Rutgers
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Newark, NJ 07102
United States of America

UMI Dissertation Services
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Institute for Scientific Information
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Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: 'STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE,' A REPORT BY THE AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE WORKING PARTY (AFSC) HAD WIDE-RANGING INFLUENCE ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE MODELS OF SENTENCING, AIDING A SWITCH FROM TREATMENT TO FIXED SENTENCING.
Abstract: THE TREATMENT MODEL OF CORRECTION ORIGINATED AFTER THE CIVIL WAR WHEN REFORMERS CRITICIZED FIXED SENTENCING AS RETRIBUTIVE AND MECHANICAL. PRISON SENTENCES WERE TO BE INDEFINITE, WITH RELEASE DECISIONS MADE ON THE BASIS OF REHABILITATIVE CRITERIA. CRITICISM OF THIS TREATMENT MODEL BEGAN TO ERUPT IN 1970 WITH THE AFSC BEING ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL REFORMERS. IN ITS REPORT, THE PARTY POINTED OUT THAT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM HAD NEVER ACQUIRED THE EXPERTISE TO MAKE THE TREATMENT MODEL WORK, ATTACKED COERCIVE THERAPY AS UNDIGNIFIED, AND CALLED INDIVIDUALIZATION IN SENTENCING A VIOLATION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL NORMS OF DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE AND PROPORTIONALITY. PARTY REFORMERS ADVOCATED PROSECUTING AND PENALIZING CRIME ACCORDING TO ITS SOCIAL HARMFULNESS AND REPLACING DISCRETIONARY DECISIONMAKING WITH SHORTER SENTENCES OF FIXED LENGTH. IT WAS HOPED THAT ADOPTION OF FORMAL RULES WOULD BRING ABOUT SUBSTANTIVE REFORM OF CRIMINAL LAW. IN ADDITION, THE AFSC PROPOSALS WERE INTENDED TO SHIFT POWER TO DEFENDANTS AND PRISONERS, ENABLING THEM TO SET THEIR OWN PRIORITIES. ALTHOUGH THE REPORT HAD WIDELY FELT REPERCUSSIONS, MOST CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORKS FOR REFORM BASED ON REPORT IDEAS MODIFY ITS RADICAL PROPOSALS. THE CONCEPT OF JUST DESERTS, WHICH ADVOCATES THAT LAW VIOLATORS SHOULD BE PUNISHED ACCORDING TO WHAT THEY DESERVE BASED ON WHAT THEY HAVE DONE, IS FOUND IN MANY SENTENCING SCHEMES OF THE 1970'S. IT REPRESENTS A DISTINCT GAIN FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOW SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED EVEN THOUGH, IN SOME CASES, UNJUST SENTENCING MIGHT OCCUR. NEW SENTENCING BILLS, INTRODUCED POST-AFSC-REPORT, HOWEVER, HAVE NOT REDUCED SUBSTANTIVE, POLITICAL, AND CULTURAL BIASES, AND SOME OF THEM HAVE KEPT THEIR REHABILITATIVE AND PREDICTIVE CRITERIA. PROSECUTORS AND JUDGES ALSO RETAIN SUBSTANTIAL DISCRETION, AND SENTENCE LENGTHS WILL BE INCREASED RATHER THAN REDUCED. HOPE FOR SHORT-RUN CHANGES LIES WITH THE STATE'S LIMITED ABILITY TO COPE WITH MORE STRINGENT SENTENCING SCHEMES, GIVEN CURRENT BUDGETARY CONSTRAINTS, AND WITH POSSIBLE ADMINISTRATIVE OPPOSITION. FOOTNOTES ARE GIVEN.
Index Term(s): Court reform; Custody vs treatment conflict; Determinate Sentencing; Just deserts theory; Mandatory Sentencing; Sentencing disparity; Sentencing guidelines; Trend analysis
Note: PRICE QUOTED FOR NCCD IS FOR SINGLE ISSUE. AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS PAPER WAS PRESENTED AT THE 1976 MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66612

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