Kevin R. Reitz of University of Minnesota Law School and Cecelia M. Klingele of University of Wisconsin Law School recently published an article in Volume 48 of Crime and Justice, a journal from the University of Chicago. Since 1979 the Crime and Justice series has presented a review of the latest international research, providing expertise to enhance the work of sociologists, psychologists, criminal lawyers, justice scholars, and political scientists. The series explores a full range of issues concerning crime, its causes, and its cures.

Professors Reitz and Klingele served as Reporter and Associate Reporter on Model Penal Code: Sentencing (MPCS) respectively, which was completed in 2017. Their essay, “Model Penal Code: Sentencing – Workable Limits on Mass Punishment,” underlines “a number of the MPCS’s major proposals to introduce rational limits on sentences in individual cases as well as systemwide controls over aggregate sentencing severity.”

The following is the abstract,

The Model Penal Code: Sentencing (MPCS) rewrites the 1962 Model Penal Code’s provisions on sentencing and corrections. Since the 1960s, use of all forms of punishment has exploded, including incarceration, community supervision, supervision revocation, economic sanctions, and collateral consequences of convictions. The MPCS provides an institutional framework for all major forms of punishment. It consists of a sentencing commission, sentencing guidelines, abolition of parole release discretion, appellate sentence review, and controls on correctional population size. It revamps sentencing procedures to inject greater fairness and transparency. It gives state legislators broad advice on how they can reform their systems as a whole, while improving decisions in each case. The MPCS recommends newly crafted limits on punishment through reasoned pursuit of utilitarian crime reduction goals, prohibition of disproportionate sentence severity, individualization of sentences that cuts through even mandatory minimum penalties, refinement of each type of punishment so it can achieve its core purposes, an attack on “criminogenic” sentences that do more harm than good, measures to prioritize and direct correctional resources to offenders who present the greatest risks and highest needs, and creation of institutional capacity to monitor, manage, and improve the entire system over time.

Access the full article here.

Kevin Reitz

Reporter, Model Penal Code: Sentencing

Kevin Reitz is the James Annenberg La Vea Land Grant Chair in Criminal Procedure Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. In 1993, he organized the pilot meeting of the National Association of Sentencing Commissions, which has gone on to become a nationwide resource for states contemplating or undertaking the process of sentencing reform. He continues to work with NASC and with state sentencing commissions nationwide.

Cecelia M. Klingele

Associate Reporter, Model Penal Code: Sentencing

Cecelia M. Klingele is an Assistant Professor at The University of Wisconsin Law School.  Her academic research focuses on criminal justice administration, with an emphasis on community supervision of those on conditional release.  She serves as a faculty associate of the Frank J. Remington Center and the Institute for Research on Poverty, and a research affiliate of the University of Minnesota Robina Institute's Sentencing Law & Policy Program.

Lauren Klosinski

ALI Staff


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