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NCJ Number: NCJ 181297   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Three Strikes and You're Out: The Implementation and Impact of Strike Laws
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): James Austin Ph.D. ; John Clark ; Patricia Hardyman Ph.D. ; D. Alan Henry
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 114
  Annotation: This report reviews the impact on crime and the criminal justice system of “Three Strikes and You’re Out” laws.
Abstract: Over the past few years 24 States and Congress have passed legislation under the slogan of “Three Strikes and You’re Out.” As part of the general political thrust to mandate increasingly tough prison terms for repeat offenders, this form of legislation seeks to ensure that habitual offenders receive the toughest sentence available to the state absent the death penalty: life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. With the noted exception of California, there has been virtually no impact on the courts, local jails, or State prisons; nor does there appear to have been an impact on crime rates. It would appear that California’s law has had a major impact. As of 1998, more than 40,000 offenders have been sentenced to California’s prisons under two- or three-strikes provisions. However, the projected effects of the law have not been realized as the State’s local criminal justice system (the courts in particular) have found ways to circumvent the law and use it along local political and organizational interests. The report suggests that this form of legislation was carefully crafted to be largely symbolic. The impact of three strikes has been less than anticipated, as the courts, and in particular the prosecutors, have taken steps to minimize the new laws’ potential effects. Notes, tables, figures
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Judicial discretion ; Sentencing/Sanctions ; Prosecutorial discretion ; Career criminal programs ; Sentencing guidelines ; Sentencing factors ; Sentencing guideline compliance ; Sentencing trends ; Life sentence without parole ; Three Strikes Laws
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 96-CE-VX-0009
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: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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