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Criminal Justice Resources :

Sentencing


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Alternative Sanctions in Germany: An Overview of Germany's Sentencing Practices
http://www.nij.gov/pubs-sum/184388.htm
Research in Germany indicates that youthful offenders sent to prison had higher rates of recidivism than those given alternative sanctions. Removing youths from society--even when incarceration included job training--appeared to negatively affect their ability to find employment when released. Among youths who received alter-native sentences, their rates of recidivism were affected by judges' and social workers' attitudes and communication abilities. Low recidivism rates were positively correlated with officials' beliefs in their clients' rehabilitation and their ability to communicate supportively with offenders.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Are Three Strikes Law Fair and Effective
http://web.archive.org/web/20000815234237/
www.speakout.com/Issues/Briefs/1290/

SpeakOut.com overview by Jenny Murphy, June 12, 2000. Still available thanks to the Internet Archive.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Assessing Consistency and Fairness in Sentencing : A Comparative Study in Three States
http://www.ncsconline.org/images/PEWExecutiveSummaryv10.pdf
(1) Have states designed sentencing guidelines that achieve a high level of predictability without denying judges adequate discretion in each individual case? (2) Are there important similarities or differences in sentencing patterns among states with different guideline structures and organization? (3) What lessons can be drawn from the experiences in Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia for other states around the country? National Center for State Courts, May 2008.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Consequences Aren't Minor: The Impact of Trying Youth as Adults and Strategies for Reform
http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/07-03_C4YJConsequences_JJ.pdf
Despite a federal law that prohibits the incarceration of youth in adult correctional facilities, the number of young people held in jails across the country has exploded by 208 percent since the 1990s, according to a new report released today at the national press club by the Campaign for Youth Justice. States exploit a loophole in federal law, which was designed to protect youth from the proven dangers of adult jails but only applies to youth in the juvenile justice system. Congress is considering the reauthorization of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) this year, and advocates are asking that all youth under 18 be protected from incarceration in adult facilities. Campaign For Youth Justice. Justice Policy Institute. March 21, 2007.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Corrections and Sentencing Law and Policy
http://www.ssrn.com/link/corrections-sentencing-law-policy.html
Subscribe
UCLA law professor Sharon Dolovich and Washington University law professor Margo Schlanger are co-editors of a new Social Science Research Network journal, Corrections and Sentencing Law and Policy. Corrections and Sentencing Law and Policy Abstracts will provide a forum for works-in-progress, abstracts, and completed articles dealing with the broad range of doctrinal, theoretical, and policy issues relating to the punishment, sentencing, and re-entry of convicted criminal offenders. Topics include (but are not limited to) prison and jail conditions and life; prisoners' rights; probation, parole, and re-entry; prison and jail administration; imprisonment and diversionary sentencing, and the death penalty. The journal also invites submissions dealing with the implications of incarceration and other criminal punishments for families, communities, and society as a whole. Contributions from all disciplines are welcome, and scholars working in this area are encouraged to submit their work.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Corrections Entry from Michigan-in-Brief, 1998 (6th edition)
http://www.michiganinbrief.org/edition06/text/issues/issue-16.htm
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Crack Cocaine and Federal Sentencing
http://www.criminaljustice.org/public.nsf/legislation/CI_01_007?opendocument
Source: National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Crack Cocaine Sentencing Policy: Unjustified and Unreasonable
http://web.archive.org/web/20030608220914/
http://www.sentencingproject.org/brief/pub1003.htm

Courtesy of the Sentencing Project.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Diminishing Returns: Crime and Incarceration in the 1990s
http://web.archive.org/web/20030307225541/
http://www.sentencingproject.org/news/DimRet.pdf

Article by Jennie Gainsborough and Marc Mauer, Sentencing Project, September 2000. Also available in Main Library Stacks. Call number and location.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

The Effect of Mandatory Minimum Sentencing on Black Males and Black Communities (Annotated Bibliography)
http://academic.udayton.edu/race/03justice/s98blake.htm
Edward Blakemore, The University of Dayton School of Law, Spring 1998.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Families Against Mandatory Minimums
http://www.famm.org/
A national organization of citizens working to reform federal and state mandatory sentencing laws that remove judicial discretion. To ensure equity and fairness at all stages of the sentencing process, FAMM also works to improve sentencing guidelines. Formed in 1991, FAMM has 20,000 members and 25 volunteer-run chapters across the country.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Federal Crack Cocaine Sentencing
http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/dp_crack_sentencing.pdf
An assessment of the cocaine sentencing debate that explores the racial impact of the crack sentencing disparity, clarifies misperceptions regarding crack addiction, and outlines solutions to eliminate sentencing unfairness. Sentencing Project, 2009. 8 pages.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Fragmentation of Sentencing and Corrections in America
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/175721.pdf
This document presents an overview of the current state of sentencing and corrections in America and a framework for analyzing the factors most likely to shape 21st century developments. Describes four competing conceptions of sentencing and corrections that exist today: indeterminate sentencing, comprehensive structured sentencing, community/restorative justice, and comprehensive risk-based systems.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

How Sentencing Works FAQs
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/faqEditorial-29149.html
These frequently asked questions explain how judges decide what a convicted defendant's punishment will be. Courtesy of Nolo Press.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Incorporating Restorative and Community Justice into American Sentencing and Corrections
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/175723.pdf
Describes the evolution, goals, and principles of restorative and community justice; explores conflicts with redistributive ideas; discusses whether restorative and community justice should be incorporated into the criminal justice system; and provides examples of programs implemented successfully.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

The Influences of Truth-in-Sentencing Reforms on Changes in States' Sentencing Practices and Prison Populations
http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/410470_FINALTISrpt.pdf
Truth in sentencing (TIS) refers to a variety of policies aimed at reducing the difference between sentences imposed and the actual time offenders serve in prison. Federal TIS initiatives within the 1994 Crime Act were found to have a relatively minor influence on the states: thirty states did not change their existing TIS laws, and eleven states made modest changes. The more extensive reforms made in the remaining states were often related to ongoing reform processes rather than the federal initiative. Examining the influence of state TIS policies on prison populations, this study found no uniform effect of TIS, but rather concludes that impacts should be evaluated within a state-specific context. Results from seven states -- Georgia, Washington, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Utah -- varied because of differences in sentencing structure, other concurrent reforms, and declines in violent crime. William J. Sabol, Katherine Rosich, Kamala Mallik Kane, David P. Kirk, and Glenn Dubin, Urban Institute, April 01, 2002.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Locked In: The Price Of Truth In Sentencing
http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2004/11/terrific_indept.html
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel merits great praise for a remarkable series of articles it is running under the banner "Locked In: The Price Of Truth In Sentencing." Two of the main articles ran this week, with this article, entitled "Tougher sentencing law carries hefty price," focused primarily on the economic costs of Wisconsin's tough truth-in-sentencing laws, and this article, entitled "Door on early release closes tightly," focused primarily on the human costs of Wisconsin's very limited early practices. Articles planned for next week will cover collateral consequences and the restorative justice movement.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Mandatory Minimum Penalties in the Federal Criminal Justice System
http://www.ussc.gov/Legislative_and_Public_Affairs/Congressional_Testimony_and_Reports/Mandatory_Minimum_Penalties/20111031_RtC_Mandatory_Minimum.cfm
This report assesses the impact of mandatory minimum penalties on federal sentencing, particularly in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Booker v. United States, which rendered the federal sentencing guidelines advisory. The United States Sentencing Commission prepared this report pursuant to a congressional directive contained in section 4713 of the Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, Pub L. No. 111–84, and the Commission's general authority under 28 U.S.C. §§ 994–995, as well as its specific authority under 28 U.S.C. § 995(a)(20) to "make recommendations to Congress concerning modification or enactment of statutes relating to sentencing, penal, and correctional matters that the Commission finds to be necessary and advisable to carry out an effective, humane, and rational sentencing policy." Special report to Congress, United States Sentencing Commission, October 2011.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Mandatory Minimum Sentences: An Overview
http://www.drugwatch.org/Mandatory%20Minimum%20Sentences.htm
Article by David Risley, Asst. U.S. Attorney, Illinois, May 2000 posted by Drug Watch International.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

The Meaning of Life: Long Prison Sentences In Context
http://www.sentencingproject.org/Admin/Documents/publications/inc_meaningoflife.pdf
Almost 10 percent of all inmates in U.S. state and federal prisons are serving life sentences, an increase of 83 percent from 1992, according to this report from OSI grantee The Sentencing Project. The study assesses the state of life imprisonment in the United States by analyzing sentencing policies, profiling the population of prisoners serving life sentences, and contextualizing the issue from public safety and fiscal perspectives. It also features profiles of current lifers whose individual stories reflect a system in desperate need of revision. Mark Mauer, Sentencing Project, May 2004. 37pp. Copyright request #1901.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Reconsidering Indeterminate and Structured Sentencing
http://www.nij.gov/pubs-sum/175722.htm
Reviews interminate and structured sentencing in America and elaborates on the contrasts between them. Describes the structure of sentencing and corrections in the States and how the States organize corrections. The origins and characteristics of both interdeterminate and structured sentencing are explored, as are the positive and negative attributes of both approaches; the compatibility of indeterminate sentencing with community/restorative and risk-based sentencing; and worrisome issues that surround comprehensive structured sentencing.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Reforming Sentencing and Corrections for Just Punishment and Public Safety
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/175724.pdf
Describes the conceptions of public safety and how correctional agencies can advance it in carrying out sentences. Explores measures of public safety--what it is and what it is not; restructuring of sentencing under rule-of-law principles; and what would be required of corrections under rule-of-law sentencing.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Report to Congress: Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy
http://www.ussc.gov/Legislative_and_Public_Affairs/Congressional_Testimony_and_Reports/Drug_Topics/200705_RtC_Cocaine_Sentencing_Policy.pdf
United States Sentencing Commission, May 2007.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Sentencing and Adjudication : Topical Collection from NIJ
http://nij.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Pub_search.aspx?searchtype=basic&category=99&location=top&PSID=35
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Sentencing Alternatives: From Incarceration to Community Service
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/article-30294.html
A convicted defendant's punishment may involve one or a combination of different elements, including prison, probation, compensating the victim or community service. This article looks at each in turn. Courtesy of Nolo Press and the Nolo.Com Legal Encyclopedia.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Sentencing Debates : Are the Federal Guidelines Unconstitutional?
Campus Access
The Supreme Court has cast doubt on the constitutionality of the federal sentencing guidelines used for nearly two decades. Congress created the complex system to eliminate disparities and increase certainty in sentencing federal defendants. The system requires judges to apply detailed numerical guidelines to calculate individual sentences, often based on new information never presented to the jury. Federal judges and defense lawyers have long complained that the procedures are too rigid and the sentences too harsh. But several recent Supreme Court decisions in state cases have required that juries, not judges, decide factual issues needed to raise or lower a defendant's sentence. The justices are now considering whether the same rule applies to the federal guidelines. A decision to throw out the guidelines could prompt Congress to step in with even tougher sentencing policies. The justices are also considering the constitutionality of imposing the death penalty on 16- and 17-year-olds — a practice some argue is “cruel and unusual punishment” prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Kenneth Jost, CQ Researcher, November 5, 2004.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Sentencing Guidelines: Reflections on The Future (NCJ186480)
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/186480.pdf
This NIJ Research in Brief, one of a series of Executive Sessions on Sentencing and Corrections RIBs, reflects the research and experience of America's foremost criminal justice practitioners and scholars on the future of ideologically neutral yet seemingly contradictory sentencing guidelines. Although sentencing guidelines have directed judicial discretion of sentencing and correctional objectives for more than 25 years, their record of accomplishment is mixed and their future is uncertain. The report also details the disparity between restorative justice and current sentencing policies and practices and proposes a hybrid system to make them compatible.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

The Sentencing Project
http://www.sentencingproject.org/
Information about crime, courts, sentencing, criminal justice policy analysis, punishment, alternatives to incarceration, jails, prisons, race, economic class, and reform. Technical assistance, training, publications available.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Should Mandatory Sentencing Be Repealed
http://web.archive.org/web/20000815234129/
www.speakout.com/Issues/Briefs/1127/

SpeakOut.com overview by Silvio Carrillo, June 13, 2000. Still available thanks to the Internet Archive.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

The State of Sentencing 2008: Developments in Policy and Practice
http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/sl_statesentencingreport2008.pdf
Finds that a nationwide budget crisis coupled with widespread prison overcrowding has led many states to address critical challenges in the areas of sentencing, drug policy, parole revocation, racial justice, felony disenfranchisement, juvenile justice, and higher education in prison. Ryan S. King. Sentencing Project, Feb. 2009. 17 pages.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

State Sentencing and Corrections Policy in an Era of Fiscal Restraint
http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/inc_statesentencingpolicy.pdf
Courtesy of Ryan S. King, the Sentencing Project, 2002.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Three Strikes and Your Out : An Examination of the Impact 0f 3 Strike Laws Ten Years After Their Enactment
http://www.justicepolicy.org/uploads/justicepolicy/documents/04-09_rep_threestrikesnatl_ac.pdf.pdf
a policy brief by the Justice Policy Institute.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Three Strikes and Your Out : The Implementation and Impart of Strike Laws
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/181297.pdf
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 tougher 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. This report reviews the impact these laws have had on crime and the criminal justice system. Surprisingly, 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 be an impact on crime rates. Even in California where the law was expected to have a major impact it appears that all of the projections were in error. March 6, 2000.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Three Strikes Law : Are They Too Harsh?
Campus Access
California's controversial three-strikes law sends repeat offenders to prison for 25-years-to-life for non-violent crimes like shoplifting. Although the California law is the nation's harshest, 24 other states have adopted similar laws in the past decade. In April, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the law forces judges to mete out "cruel and unusual punishment," prohibited by the Constitution. The two cases the high court will review have become a lightning rod for debate over mandatory-sentencing policies adopted by the federal government and the states in drug-war crackdowns over the past 30 years. Advocates say such policies have cut crime, but critics say other reasons caused the decline. Meanwhile, several states have begun modifying their mandatory-sentencing laws to give judges more discretion in cases involving non-violent offenders. Patrick Marshall, CQ Researcher, May 10, 2002.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Truth in Sentencing in State Prisons
http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/tssp.pdf
"Truth in Sentencing in State Prisons" describes the development and use of truth-in-sentencing (TIS) laws and presents data on the growing number of States that have adopted TIS and the increasing amount of time offenders are serving in State prisons. Trend data from 1990 to 1996 describe average time served and percent of sentence served by released offenders, average sentence length of new admissions to prisons, and estimates of the minimum time inmates are expected to serve until release. Offense distributions on admission and release data are provided by sex, race, and Hispanic origin. Data are also presented on the States that have qualified for the TIS portion of the Federal Violent Offender Incarceration/Truth in Sentencing incentive grant program, along with other TIS States.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

U. S. Sentencing Commission
http://www.ussc.gov/
Want a Washington insider's view of how the federal war on crime is going? The U.S. Sentencing Commission has the government's most extensive stats on who's going to the federal pen -- and why. Source : USA Today, Hot Picks, August 29, 1996.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

University of Michigan
Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
http://www.ICPSR.umich.edu
A source for U.S. Sentencing Commission sentencing datasets.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

Wrongful Conviction and Innocence Resources on the Internet
http://www.llrx.com/features/wrongfulconviction.htm
Many people have been falsely accused and wrongly convicted in our criminal justice system. Article by Ken Strutin, LLRX, June 10, 2006.
(Last checked 03/07/12)

 

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