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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69479 Find in a Library
Title: INMATE ATTITUDES ABOUT DETERMINATE SENTENCING
Author(s): C SCHACHINGER
Corporate Author: Illinois Dept of Corrections
Bureau of Policy Development
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Illinois Dept of Corrections
Springfield, IL 62702
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A PILOT SURVEY OF 193 INMATES ON THEIR ATTITUDES TOWARD DETERMINATE SENTENCING WAS CONDUCTED IN MARCH 1980 AT THE JOLIET ILL. CORRECTIONAL CENTER THROUGH INTERVIEWS AT THE RECEPTION STAGE OF INTAKE.
Abstract: INMATE ATTITUDES REFLECTING THEIR FEELINGS TOWARD SENTENCING SHORTLY AFTER CONVICTION AND IMPRISONMENT ARE OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT'S CONTINUING EFFORTS TO ASSESS THE IMPACT OF DETERMINATE SENTENCING. THE MAJORITY OF INMATES COMMITTED DURING THE SURVEY PERIOD WERE UNDER THE NEW DETERMINATE SENTENCE LAW, I.E., WITHOUT ANY OPTIONS IN SENTENCING. HALF OF THE DETERMINATE SENTENCES WERE IN THE 1 TO 3 YEAR RANGE, WITH ABOUT 10 PERCENT OF THE DETERMINATE SENTENCES BEING OVER 10 YEARS. OF THE EIGHT OFFENDERS WHO THOUGHT THEY HAD AN OPTION, THE MAJORITY CHOSE AN INDETERMINATE SENTENCE DID NOT THINK THEY HAD A SENTENCING OPTION. THIS GROUP MAY BE TECHNICAL PAROLE VIOLATORS WITHOUT A NEW CRIME WHO WOULD HAVE NO OPTION AT THE RECEPTION STAGE. HALF OF THE INMATES SURVEYED HAD NOT BEEN IN PRISON BEFORE, ABOUT A THIRD WERE RETURNING FOR A TECHNICAL VIOLATION OF PAROLE, AND TWO-THIRDS WERE RETURNING WITH A NEW CRIMINAL OFFENSE. CONFUSION OCCURRED IN ANSWERING A QUESTION ABOUT LENGTH OF TIME ALREADY SPENT IN PRISON, I.E., WHETHER IT REFERRED TO TIME INCLUDING PREVIOUS COMMITMENTS OR TIME SPENT ON THE MOST RECENT ADMISSION. OF THOSE INMATES WHO EXPRESSED A PREFERENCE BETWEEN A FIXED OUT-DATE AND A MORE INDEFINITE MINIMUM-MAXIMUM SENTENCE, THE DETERMINATE SENTENCE WAS THE OVERWHELMING CHOICE. THE NEW DETERMINATE SENTENCING LAW WAS SEEN AS FAIRER THAN THE OLD LAW. BUT THE DETERMINATE SENTENCE WAS NOT SEEN BY MOST AS PROVIDING THE SAME SENTENCE FOR THE SAME CRIME. THE DAY-FOR-DAY GOOD TIME PROVISIONS OF DETERMINATE SENTENCE WERE STRONGLY FAVORED OVER THE INDETERMINATE SENTENCE SYSTEM OF STATUTORY AND COMPENSATORY GOOD TIME AWARDS. FLAT SENTENCES WERE SEEN AS A TENSION REDUCER AMONG INMATES. TABLES ILLUSTRATE INMATES' RESPONSES AND THE SURVEY INSTRUMENT IS APPENDED.
Index Term(s): Determinate Sentencing; Illinois; Inmate attitudes; Sentencing disparity; Sentencing reform; Sentencing/Sanctions; Surveys
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69479

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