U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Alchemy in Sentencing: An Analysis of Sentencing Reform Proposals in England and Wales

NCJ Number
Punishment and Society: The International Journal of Penology Volume: 4 Issue: 4 Dated: October 2002 Pages: 425-442
Julian V. Roberts
Date Published
October 2002
18 pages
Sentencing and parole system reforms in North America and the United Kingdom are the focus of this article.
Addressing successful sentencing and parole systems reforms in North America, this article discusses recommendations for such reforms in England and Wales. After arguing that many jurisdictions are launching reviews and reforms of their sentencing and parole systems, the author suggests that a recently published proposal for reforming the sentencing system in England and Wales, published as “Report of a Review of the Sentencing Framework in England and Wales,” is overly ambitious and far-reaching in its set of recommendations for change. Detailing some of the Report’s 50 recommendations for reforming sentencing and parole systems, this article discusses proposals for creating a detailed sentencing guidelines scheme, new sentencing options, and improving public knowledge and awareness of sentencing decisions that impact the sentencing process. The author maintains that the Report proposes the difficult task of promoting the role assigned to criminal record in the sentencing process while preserving principles of proportionality. Suggesting that this combination of reforms is theoretically untenable, the author concludes that England and Wales need to consider the United States’ guidelines to sentence and parole systems reforms if the United Kingdom’s Home Office desires successful reforms to be implemented. Notes, references


No download available