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NCJ Number: NCJ 168944     Find in a Library
Title: Managing Prison Growth in North Carolina Through Structured Sentencing
  Document URL: Text PDF 
Author(s): R F Wright
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 16
  Series: NIJ Program Focus
  Annotation: The North Carolina General Assembly and the State Sentencing and Policy Advisory Committee have worked together to design a sentencing structure that increases certainty and length of imprisonment for the most serious felonies and that creatively uses community and intermediate sanctions for lesser offenses to control corrections costs.
Abstract: As an alternative to indeterminate sentencing, structured sentencing is a compromise between individualized assessment of each offender and uniform treatment of persons charged with an offense under legislatively mandated determinate sentencing. Structured sentencing creates a set of sentencing rules, usually called guidelines, that consider both the offense and personal characteristics of the offender. While general rules of a structured sentencing system make sentences more uniform and less subject to the individual discretion of judges and parole boards, such a system allows judges to impose different sentences in special cases. Structured sentencing makes it possible to plan correctional resources and minimize prison overcrowding. Structured sentencing in North Carolina has been accomplished using the following methods: (1) sentencing commission use of legislatively mandated impact statements to inform legislators of prison construction costs associated with amending sentencing statutes; (2) training in the use of sentencing guidelines for members of the criminal justice community; (3) cooperation between sentencing commission and criminal justice professionals; and (4) integration of budget requests of community corrections agencies into a unified budget. An evaluation is planned to assess the effects of structured sentencing. The development of sentencing guidelines in North Carolina between 1990 and 1993 and sentencing guideline changes in 1994 and 1995 legislative sessions are described. Lessons from North Carolina's experience with structured sentencing that may be applicable to other jurisdictions are discussed. 12 notes, 5 exhibits, and 3 photographs
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Indeterminate sentences ; Determinate Sentencing ; Sentencing guidelines ; Corrections effectiveness ; Prison overcrowding ; Sentence effectiveness ; Intermediate sanctions ; North Carolina
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
United States of America
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: National Institute of Justice Program Focus
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