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NCJ Number: 90010 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Research on Sentencing - The Search for Reform, Volume 1
Corporate Author: National Research Council
Cmtte on Research on Law Enforcement and the Admin of Justice
United States of America
Editor(s): A Blumstein; J Cohen; S E Martin; M H Tonry
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 327
Sponsoring Agency: National Academies Press
Washington, DC 20001
National Research Council
Washington, DC 20418
Sale Source: National Academies Press
500 Fifth Street, N.W.
Keck 360
Washington, DC 20001
United States of America
Document: PDF
Format: Book (Hardbound); Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report reviews research in four areas: the determinants of sentencing; methods used to structure sentencing decisions, especially guidelines; the impact of these methods on sentencing outcomes and system operations; and connections between sentencing policy and the corrections system.
Abstract: The book surveys various sentencing practices and reviews the sentencing reform movement. A chapter on sentencing determinants focuses on disparity and discrimination as well as methodological problems that plague this research. Despite measurement errors in most studies, offense seriousness and offender's past record have emerged as key determinants. Areas covered by a discussion of sentencing innovations adopted since 1960 include efforts to standardize felony classifications, requirements for judges to provide reasons for sentencing, sentencing councils, abolishing plea negotiation, mandatory minimum sentences, determinate sentences, and sentencing guidelines. The report summarizes evaluations of sentencing reforms' effectiveness in reducing disparities, altering sentence severity, and making decisionmaking systematic. Specific evaluations include mandatory minimum sentencing laws in Michigan, Massachusetts, and New York; California's Uniform Determinate Sentencing Law; presumptive and voluntary sentencing guidelines; and parole guidelines in four jurisdictions. Finally, the report explores the implications of sentencing reforms for the size, conditions, and management of prison populations, as well as problems in projecting and controlling the size of those populations. The last section outlines an agenda for future research. Footnotes, approximately 480 references, and information on panel participants are provided.
Index Term(s): Prison overcrowding; Research methods; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing reform
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