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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91054 Find in a Library
Title: Prosecution and Sentencing (From Crime and Public Policy, P 165-182, 1983, James Q Wilson, ed. - See NCJ-91045)
Project Director: J Q Wilson
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: ICS Press
Oakland, CA 94612
Sale Source: ICS Press
Institute for Contemporary Studies
1611 Telegraph Ave., Suite 406
Oakland, CA 94612
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although prosecutors and judges have received increasing amounts of data to aid their decisionmaking in recent years, they need further guidelines for decisionmaking as well as further production, dissemination, and use of sound statistical information to support their decisions.
Abstract: Recent research on what happens to suspects who are arrested and on factors associated with conviction and incarceration has shown that contemporary case selection and sentencing practices generally agree with the commonsense idea of justice. Prosecutors and judges tend to act so as to ensure that the offenders who pose the greatest threat to the community are convicted and incarcerated. They tend to operate in a way that induces both their peers and the public they serve to respect their judgment and notice their effectiveness. Many prosecutors, judges, and criminal justice reformers have instituted procedures like computerized case tracking to produce greater accountability, uniformity, and efficiency in the decisions and practices that follow arrest. Sentencing reform and sentencing guidelines have been a major area of effort. As a result of the accumulation of statistical information on prosecution and sentencing, district attorneys and chief judges are tending to shift from a single-case perspective to an orientation that considers the aggregate information in the context of the goals of prosecution and sentencing. Further guidelines would serve as policy statements, as uniform standards, and as a source of essential information to other decisionmakers. One figure is included.
Index Term(s): Case processing; Court information systems; Judicial discretion; Prosecutorial discretion; Sentencing guidelines
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