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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 67610 Find in a Library
Title: HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF FIXED VS INDETERMINATE SENTENCING FOR INMATES COMMITTED TO THE CUSTODY OF THE DEPARMENT OF OFFENDER REHABILITATION - RESEARCH STUDY
Corporate Author: Florida Dept of Offender Rehabilitation
Bureau of Planning, Research and Statistics
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: Florida Dept of Offender Rehabilitation
Tallahassee, FL 32301
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Publication Number: 77-R-063
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A STUDY ANALYZING THE HISTORICAL TRENDS IN FIXED VERSUS INDETERMINATE SENTENCING PATTERNS IN FLORIDA SINCE 1957 FOR THE PURPOSE OF FORECASTING FUTURE SENTENCING TRENDS IS DISCUSSED.
Abstract: IN 1957 THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE ENACTED STATUTE 921.18, WHICH PROVIDED FOR INDETERMINATE SENTENCING OF FELONY OFFENDERS TO A PERIOD OF FROM 6 MONTHS TO A MAXIMUM NOT GREATER THAN THE MAXIMUM PROVIDED FOR THE SPECIFIC OFFENSE AND NOT LESS THAN THE MINIMUM PROVIDED FOR THAT SAME OFFENSE. SINCE 1957 THE STATUTE HAS BEEN REVISED SIX TIMES. THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL STATUTE AND THE STATUTE TODAY IS THE EXCLUSION OF HABITUAL OFFENDERS AND FELONS CONVICTED OF CAPITAL OFFENSES. EXAMINATION OF THE DATA REFLECTING FIXED VERSUS INDETERMINATE SENTENCING PRACTICES SINCE 1957 REVEALS THAT AFTER PASSAGE OF THE LAW THERE WAS A PERIOD OF INCREASING USAGE OF ITS PROVISION FOR INDETERMINATE SENTENCES. APPROXIMATELY 5 YEARS PASSED BEFORE THE MAXIMUM USAGE OF THE STATUTE WAS REACHED IN 1961 THROUGH 1962, WHEN 36.1 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF FELONS SENTENCED RECEIVED INDETERMINATE SENTENCES. AFTER THIS HIGH POINT, HOWEVER, THERE WAS A STEADY DECLINE IN ITS USAGE. IN 1975 THROUGH 1976 ONLY 8.8 PERCENT OF THOSE SENTENCED RECEIVED INDETERMINATE SENTENCES. IF THE DECREASING TREND IN THE USE OF INDETERMINATE SENTENCES CONTINUES, IT IS EXPECTED THAT BY FISCAL YEAR 1980 THROUGH 1981 VIRTUALLY NO COMMITMENTS WITH INDETERMINATE SENTENCES WILL BE RECEIVED. THE TREND TO IMPOSE FIXED RATHER THAN INDETERMINATE SENTENCES MIGHT BE EXPLAINED AS THE COURT'S REACTION TO CURRENT FEELINGS THAT REHABILITATION DOES NOT WORK, AND THEREFORE SENTENCES SHOULD BE KEYED TO THE OFFENSE RATHER THAN TO THE REHABILITATION OF THE OFFENDER. ANOTHER POSSIBILITY IS THAT THE TREND REPRESENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENT THAT PAROLE FUNCTIONS IN MANY WAYS AS AN INDETERMINATE SENTENCE, AND THEREFORE THE FORMAL STATEMENT OF THE INDETERMINATE SENTENCE IS UNNECESSARY. A TABLE IS PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Data analysis; Determinate Sentencing; Felony; Florida; Indeterminate sentences; Prediction; Rehabilitation; Studies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67610

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