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NCJ Number: 77565 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Determinate Sentencing Structures
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:17  Issue:3  Dated:(May/June 1981)  Pages:197-225
Author(s): F A Hussey; S P Lagoy
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: 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
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses a broad and fundamental change which is occurring in sentencing policy as reflected in the legislative revision of sentencing codes, moving from an indeterminate to a determinate structure.
Abstract: This change and related issues are examined through the medium of the new codes in Maine, California, Indiana, Illinois, and Arizona. A review of the provisions for each of the five determinate sentencing States generally indicates that determinate maximum terms have not been significantly increased, as critics had feared. In fact, it is more often the case that the maxims have been reduced. However, the converse holds true for the determinate sentence minima. The overall trend in minimum sentences is for them to increase, with those showing no change slightly outnumbering those that evidence a decrease. As opposed to the increase in minimum sentences, maximum sentences have been effectively decreased about 70.7 percent of the time; they have remained the same 7.3 percent of the time and have increased 21.9 percent of the time. In general, determinate sentencing has resulted in the reduction of the ranges for possible sentences. The study reveals that determinate sentencing, in and of itself, is not likely to have disastrous consequences for the typical offender. Determinate sentencing does represent a step in the direction of disparity reduction, achieved by narrowing the gap between the minimum possible penalty and the maximum possible penalty. The article provides tables and 41 footnotes. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Arizona; California; Determinate Sentencing; Illinois; Indiana; Maine; Mandatory Sentencing; Sentencing reform; Sentencing/Sanctions; State laws
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