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Diversion and Probation (From U.S. Sentencing Guidelines: Implications for Criminal Justice, P 153-164, 1989, Dean J. Champion, ed. -- See NCJ-121135)

NCJ Number
F H Marshall
Date Published
12 pages
The Federal sentencing guidelines have had an adverse effect on the diversion and probation options available to Federal judges.
Under the new sentencing guidelines, probation will be a luxury sentence for some types of crimes involving very low-risk offenders. Most offenders sentenced to probation prior to the guidelines will have "supervised release" under the guidelines. Also, under the guidelines, probation officers are responsible for acknowledging and reporting all violations to original sentencing judges. An already overburdened judiciary will assume sanctioning responsibility for both probationers and parole/special parole cases. The new guidelines have eliminated diversion as a judicial sanctioning option. The only diversion remaining will be whether to bring a case for prosecution, a decision that rests with the U.S. attorney. It is likely, however, that the increased confinement costs and overcrowding that will accompany the implementation of the guidelines will result in pressure for increased straight probation without accompanying intermittent confinement.


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