Reform in Motion: The Promise and Perils of Incorporating Risk Assessments and Cost-Benefit Analysis into Pennsylvania Sentencing
University of Pennsylvania - Jerry Lee Center of Criminology
Steven L. Chanenson
Villanova University School of Law
Mark H. Bergstrom
Pennsylvania State University
Duquesne University Law Review, Vol. 49, 2011
Villanova Law/Public Policy Research Paper No. 2013-3010
Actuarial risk assessment and cost-benefit analyses have become increasingly commonplace in many areas of criminal justice. The integration of these tools in sentencing represents a natural and logical next step. In Pennsylvania, the pace of this development has recently accelerated, as reform legislation now mandates the inclusion of actuarial methodologies into the sentencing architecture. This article considers the promises and the perils of this integration in light of Pennsylvania’s sentencing structure. The authors conclude by presenting four key questions that legislators in Pennsylvania- as well as other jurisdictions beginning to addresses the use of empirical data in sentencing- should consider before implementation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 44
Keywords: criminal law, sentencing, punishment, corrections, sentencing guidelines, empirical, risk assessment, actuarial, incarceration, prisonAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 18, 2012 ; Last revised: December 22, 2012
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