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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93036 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Sentencing Practices - Background Information for Policy Makers
Author(s): W B Crowther
Corporate Author: Rhode Island Governor's Justice Cmssn
United States of America
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 51
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Rhode Island Governor's Justice Cmssn
Providence, RI 02903
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Prepared for Rhode Island legislators who will be considering a determinate sentencing proposal, this paper clarifies terms, discusses underlying philosophies of various sentencing schemes, and explores the implications of different sentencing practices.
Abstract: In 1981, 1982, and 1983, Rhode Island's Attorney General submitted legislation proposing the use of determinate sentencing for 13 serious crimes and is expected to introduce it again in 1984. This report first distinguishes between indeterminate, determinate, and mandatory sentencing and then explains the just deserts model. Also defined are terms such as rehabilitation, retribution, and deterrence. An overview of current trends in sentencing covers the shift away from the medical rehabilitation model and the resulting movement toward determinate sentencing, sentencing guidelines, mandatory sentencing, and types of determinate schemes adopted by other States. The next section addresses current Rhode Island practices, emphasizing that the State is not an example of pure indeterminacy because judges sentence offenders to fixed periods but the parole board may adjust these periods. Moreover, Rhode Island law mandates an additional term of imprisonment for habitual offenders, and the State has implemented sentencing guidelines. The report outlines the Attorney General's determinate sentencing proposal and discusses reactions from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Department of Corrections. The ACLU has opposed the law because of fears that it would result in harsher treatment of offenders, and both organizations have expressed concerns that the proposal would worsen prison overcrowding. Other chapters focus on the potential impact of determinate sentencing on prison populations, parole, and plea bargaining. The report contains 60 footnotes.
Index Term(s): Determinate Sentencing; Rhode Island; Sentencing reform; State laws
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