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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78602 Find in a Library
Title: Determinate Sentencing Reform Movement (From Correctional Options for the 80's, P 102-106, 1980 - See NCJ-78601)
Corporate Author: Colorado Division of Criminal Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Colorado Division of Criminal Justice
Denver, CO 80215
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Trends in the area of determinate sentencing are mentioned, with emphasis on California's experience under determinate sentencing laws.
Abstract: A number of States have recently reexamined their sentencing structure in view of scientific studies and other works criticizing the use of indeterminate sentences. A variety of determinate sentencing concepts, including flat sentencing, presumptive sentencing, and sentencing guidelines, have been tested. Most States have experimented with presumptive sentencing or sentencing guidelines, both of which rest on the idea that to reduce disparity there should be a sentencing norm which is presumed to be the 'correct' sentence for a particular criminal offense. Findings of a study on the impact of determinate sentencing in California are mentioned. They argue that under determinate sentencing the role of the judiciary has been expanded, although some discretion has been lost and judges have been forced to make sentencing decisions inappropriate to the case. Prosecutors have developed clearer policies regarding charging and prosecutorial strategies, and defense attorneys have a better perspective on each case and can better advise their clients. Moreover, offense rates are growing less rapidly, although this cannot be attributed directly to determinate sentencing. Other favorable outgrowths of determinate sentencing in the State are listed.
Index Term(s): California; Determinate Sentencing; Presumptive sentences; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing reform
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