skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 97537 Find in a Library
Title: Determinate Sentencing and Imprisonment - A Failure of Reform
Author(s): L Goodstein; J Hepburn
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 245
Sponsoring Agency: Anderson Publishing Co
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sale Source: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
2035 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The concept of determinate sentencing is examined through a study of its origins and operation and an assessment of its impacts in three States: Illinois, Connecticut, and Minnesota.
Abstract: Critiques of indeterminate sentencing focus on two issues -- the unpredictability of a release date and sentencing inequity -- and on their consequences for prisoners. Mounting criticisms of the indeterminate sentencing model in the 1970's led to the adoption in many States of major determinate sentencing reforms. These reforms varied widely, a variety of factors undermined their implementation. Data from four prisons in the three States studied were used to compare prisoner characteristics, prisoner adjustment, and institutional climate. Interviews were conducted with correctional staff and inmate leaders, and 1,654 inmates completed self-administered questionnaires. Determinate sentencing was found to have no effect on prisoners' attitudes and behaviors or on the prison climate. Nevertheless, it has given management better planning capabilities. Inmates also have a feeling of greater sentencing equity and certainty about a fixed release date. These limited impacts may be all that realistically should be expected. Data tables, chapter notes, appendixes presenting study methodology and additional results, an index, and a list of 175 references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Connecticut; Determinate Sentencing; Illinois; Legislative impact; Minnesota; Sentencing reform
Note: Criminal Justice Studies.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.