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NCJ Number: 71040 Find in a Library
Title: Prescription for Justice - The Theory and Practice of Sentencing Guidelines
Author(s): J M Kress
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 379
Sponsoring Agency: Ballinger Publishing Co
Cambridge, MA 02138
Sale Source: Ballinger Publishing Co
Harvard Square
17 Dunster Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: For academics, students, researchers, and criminal justice personnel, this book addresses both the philosophy and practice of law and proposes sentencing guidelines to ensure equity and propriety.
Abstract: Sentencing guidelines, voluntary aids that enable judges to structure their own judicial discretion in accordance with the sentencing norms of their colleagues, are explained. Such guidelines can reduce the possibility of each court operating as an autonomous unit by providing judges with access to the standards of their peers. Formed by extracting the underlying criteria of present sentencing practices and reformulating them to create sentencing standards, sentencing guidelines provide consistent models to guide judicial decisions. The book explains how sentencing guidelines systems operate, the theoretical base of sentencing guidelines systems, and the conceptual and constitutional framework against which the need for such systems may be understood. Several chapters describe a research project that resulted in operational sentencing guidelines systems in both their general and their specific aspects. The premises of action research are described and the antecedent Federal parole study is reviewed. Also described are the collaborative relationship between the research staff and the judicial members of the team. Sentencing guidelines are proposed as a compromise between current indeterminate sentencing practices and proposed mandatory sentences. A practical design for their implementation in the present court system is offered. Appendixes demonstrate the range and variety of sentencing guidelines systems and further elaborate upon the explanations in the main text. Tables, figures, a bibliography of approximately 600 references, and an index are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Court reform; Decisionmaking; Judicial discretion; Research methods; Sentencing disparity; Sentencing guidelines
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