Sentencing guideline systems exist, in part, to monitor prison growth, prioritize the use of limited correctional resources, and avoid prison overcrowding. Statutes sometimes mandate that sentencing commissions write guidelines, for example, “with due regard for resource availability and cost.”
A new report from the Collateral Consequences Resource Center shows that states across the country are continuing to expand opportunities to avoid or mitigate the adverse effects of a criminal record.
This piece examines the role that concerns about finality have played in both capital cases and juvenile life-without-parole sentencing cases.
A state law that went into effect this year makes juveniles given life sentences eligible for parole after serving 25 years and meeting certain educational requirements. In extreme cases however, district attorneys can block access parole during a new sentencing hearing if the juvenile lifer is considered the “worst of the worst” and unable to be rehabilitated.
Several other states have introduced reforms aimed at correcting longstanding overreliance on punitive, criminal sanctions for young people. Recently, New York and North Carolina used their budget processes to expand the age bounds of their juvenile justice systems to ensure that 16- and 17-year-old youth can no longer be automatically placed in adult courtrooms.
Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a criminal justice reform package focused on reducing juvenile sentences and recidivism in California, drawing applause from civil rights groups and celebrity activists.
House Democrat has introduced a bill in the House as a means to reduce the nation’s rate of mass incarceration.
But there is no doubt we are on the precipice of a criminal justice data revolution, and it is a good time to take stock and to begin developing guidelines so that, as much as possible, criminal justice systems might reap the benefits and avoid the pitfalls of this newly data-centric world.
The Hill reports that Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley will reintroduce the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act.
Model Penal Code: Sentencing Reporters have updated the black letter text of the Proposed Final Draft.