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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76061 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Classification Instruments for Criminal Justice Decisions, Volume 4 - Sentencing and Parole Release Sourcebook
Corporate Author: American Justice Institute
United States of America

National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Project Director: M Bohnstedt
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 234
Sponsoring Agency: American Justice Institute
Sacramento, CA 95814
National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Newark, NJ 07102
National Institute of Corrections
Washington, DC 20534
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Grant Number: AT-4
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: The fourth in a five-volume series focusing on screening and classification in criminal justice conducted by the American Justice Institute and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, this survey report addresses sentencing and parole release.
Abstract: In conducting the survey, the staff made over 350 telephone contacts with classification experts, research organizations, and justice system agencies. These contacts and the literature review indicated a recent trend toward formalizing offender classification, establishing criteria for screening decisions, and increasing reliance on standardized instruments for descisionmaking input. This sourcebook includes three sections: a state-of-the-art summary, site reports, and a telephone interview summary. The first section describes current classification instruments and practices that are employed at the stage of sentencing and parole release determination. The site visit reports provide an indepth look at how they operate in nine specific agencies. The telephoen interview summary contains a succinct description of how Washington State uses their classification tools. The survey revealed that standardized screening instruments are used by only a small proportion of parole authorities and an even smaller proportion of courts rendering sentencing decisions. However, such instruments are generating increasing interest as the prospect of determinate sentencing faces a growing number of jurisdictions. Among those jurisdictions now employing classification instruments in decisions affecting type and length of sentence, three different approaches can be distinguished: parole guidelines, sentencing guidelines, and risk classification instruments. All three approaches offer a viable alternative to legislatively fixing sentencing and parole policy by introducing greater objectivity and uniformity in decisionmaking without the inflexibility imposed by determinate sentencing laws. Testing and evaluation of such classification programs and instruments should be undertaken. Footnotes, tables, sample forms, and organizational and flow charts are provided. For related documents, see NCJ 76058-60 and 76062.
Index Term(s): Criminality prediction; Decisionmaking; Inmate classification; National Council on Crime and Delinquency; Parole; Parole outcome prediction; Probation or parole decisionmaking; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing/Sanctions; Surveys
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