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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91666 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Determinate Sentencing on Inmate Misconduct in Prison
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:63  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring/Summer 1983)  Pages:100-113
Author(s): M L Forst; J M Brady
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78-NI-AX-0081; 78-NI-AX-0082
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents empirical data on the extent of prisoner misconduct in California and Oregon as measured by rule violations before and after these two States enacted determinate sentencing laws.
Abstract: In the 1960's and early 1970's, prison administrators sought to determine the causes of the increasing prison unrest. Some corrections officials argued that the indeterminate sentence was a major factor in prisoner discontent and misbehavior. Other prison administrators believed that a move toward determinate sentencing would increase prisoner misconduct, because prisoners would be less motivated to participate in prison programs and above institutional rules. To date, this debate has lacked empirical evidence. This article remedies this by analyzing prison rule violations in California and Oregon, two States that recently enacted determinate sentencing laws. Data on the number and types of prison rule violations were obtained before and after 1977, the year both determinate sentencing statutes went into effect. During 1978 and 1979, numerous interviews were also conducted with prison administrators at four of California's 12 main correctional institutions and all three of Oregon's prisons. The data indicate that prisoner misconduct is not directly associated with the transition from an indeterminate to a determinate sentencing system. To understand the complex nature and causes of prisoner misconduct more fully, prison officials and researchers must examine a variety of other factors, including prison overcrowding, racial tensions, the declining median age of inmates, gang activities, and the variation in forms of prison administration. Tabular data and 13 bibliographic listings are provided.
Index Term(s): California; Determinate Sentencing; Indeterminate sentences; Inmate discipline; Oregon; Prison disorders
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