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NCJ Number: 89735 Find in a Library
Title: Recent Developments in American Criminal Justice (From UNAFEI Report for 1980 and Resource Material Series No. 20, P 94-106, 1981 - See NCJ-89732)
Author(s): I J Shain
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 13
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Nations
Annotation: Following a brief description of the American criminal justice system, this study highlights recent developments in the areas of courts and the law, corrections, and law enforcement services.
Abstract: In sentencing, there has been a major movement away from the use of indeterminate sentencing, as a number of States have enacted determinate sentencing provisions, whose features include a specified sentence or a range of three sentences for each offense; the judge must choose the middle sentence in the range unless the imposition of the higher or lower sentence can be justified with verifiable facts. Other changes in courts and laws include the decriminalization of selected 'victimless' crimes, increased legal protections for juveniles under formal processing in the juvenile justice system, and improvements in judicial administration. In the correctional field, a number of promising changes have been made in the last few years: intervention strategies in probation and parole, use of grievance systems in the prisons, programs to make prison industrial experiences approximate employment experiences in the free world, the use of classification methods for determining parole release potential and prison program assignments, extension of inmates' legal rights, the use of alternatives to incarceration, and the use of pretrial release programs, halfway houses, and residential support services. In the law enforcement field, there has been a reexamination of the traditional methods of providing police services and an increasing emphasis on developing community relations programs. A chart of probation supervision fee practices is provided for nine States along with 41 notes.
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Court reform; Decriminalization; Determinate Sentencing; Police reform; Trend analysis
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