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Sentencing Reform in Overcrowded Times: A Comparative Perspective

NCJ Number
M Tonry, K Hatlestad
Date Published
303 pages
This volume contains articles on sentencing reform in the United States, other English-speaking countries, and Western Europe.
Half of the articles in the book concern sentencing reform in the United States and nearly one-quarter concern developments elsewhere. No other country has yet adopted U.S.-style numerical sentencing guidelines. While some countries have been attracted to boot camps, "three-strikes" laws and electronic monitoring, none have adopted them on a significant scale. The balance of the book consists of articles on racial disparities caused by modern American crime control policies and on public opinion about crime. Racial disparities in the justice system have long been extreme, but since 1980 they have steadily worsened. Many harsh laws and policies have recently been adopted in the name of public opinion, but the best evidence is that ordinary people's views are commonly misunderstood. Their views are not unqualifiedly harsh; they believe that wrongful actions should be punished and vigorous efforts made to help offenders become law-abiding, self-supporting citizens. Tables, figures, note, references