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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 83264 Find in a Library
Title: Survey of Determinate Sentencing Jurisdictions
Corporate Author: Assoc of Paroling Authorities
Office of the President
United States of America
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Assoc of Paroling Authorities
Albany, NY 12203
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This survey of five States that have adopted determinate sentencing legislation considers the old sentencing system, reasons for change, the current sentencing system, preliminary results, and recent developments.
Abstract: The States surveyed were California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, and Maine. California changed from an indeterminate sentencing system based primarily on offender rehabilitation because of sentencing disparities, arbitrary parole decisionmaking, manipulative behavior by inmates and corrections officials in association with release dates dependent on inmate behavior, the undermining of deterrence effectiveness by sentence uncertainty, and the prison tension created by inmate uncertainty about release. The California determinate sentencing law, which became effective on July 1, 1977, provides narrow ranges which judges must follow in sentencing defendants to prison. General results of determinate sentencing in California have been reduction in sentencing disparity and an increase in imprisonment rates and prison crowding. The other States in the survey changed from indeterminate sentencing for some or all of the reasons that California changed. Results in the other States have included an increase in imprisonment rates and prison crowding, increased focus on plea bargaining as the determining factor in the sentence received, and some improvement in sentencing disparity, although Maine has not seen any impact on disparity. It is too early to determine if determinate sentencing has had an impact on the crime rate. Current determinate sentencing systems are presented in a tabular form for four classes of offenses.
Index Term(s): California; Connecticut; Determinate Sentencing; Illinois; Indiana; Maine
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