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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93621 Find in a Library
Title: Creative Castigation in Lieu of Confinement
Author(s): C H Miller; J Self
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 62
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The discussion focuses on the history of sentencing in the United States and the changing philosophical correctional models and includes examples of how different societies deal with crime.
Abstract: Most European countries are consciously moving away from the use of imprisonment as the main way to deal with criminals. With few exceptions, the incarceration rates are substantially lower than those of the United States. The primary ingredient contributing to these low rates and the reduced prison populations of these countries is the commitment to philosophies aimed at avoiding the dehumanizing effects of imprisonment and dealing with offenders in other ways. All of the alternatives to imprisonment used in European countries are available in the United States, but imprisonment has become the dominant form of criminal sentence in this country. The indeterminate sentence, which has functioned as the core of correctional systems through the 20th century, has only recently started to change. Skepticism toward the rehabilitation model and the indeterminate sentence began in the late 1960's. For the past decade, the national trend has been towards more determinacy in sentencing. In 1975, the 'justice model' for corrections emerged to incorporate the general mood shift of correctional experts. This model emphasizes fairness of prison system operations rather than rehabilitative impact and advocates the judge meting out a determinate and relatively uniform sentence for the kind of crime involved. Major changes enacted in the sentencing laws of California and Minnesota are described, along with the laws of Connecticut and Michigan designed to alleviate overcrowding. Case histories are provided.
Index Term(s): Criminal justice ideologies; Criminal justice system reform; Incarceration; Sentencing/Sanctions; United States of America; Western Europe
Note: Southern Conference on Corrections, Florida State University, February 1983
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