Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2221474
 
 

Footnotes (137)



 


 



Mass Incarceration at Sentencing


Anne R. Traum


University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law


Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 64, No. 2, p. 423 (2013)
UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series

Abstract:     
Courts can address the problem of mass incarceration at sentencing. Although some scholars suggest that the most effective response may be through policy and legislative reform, judicial consideration of mass incarceration at sentencing would provide an additional response that can largely be implemented without wholesale reform. Mass incarceration presents a difficult problem for courts because it is a systemic problem that harms people on several scales — individual, family, and community — and the power of courts to address such broad harm is limited. This Article proposes that judges should consider mass incarceration, a systemic problem, in individual criminal cases at sentencing. Sentencing is well suited to this purpose because it is a routine phase of a criminal case when courts have great flexibility to individualize punishment based on individual and systemic factors. In this phase, judicial discretion is at its highest, the judges’ contact with defendants is most direct, and the court can consider the broadest information relevant to sentencing options and impacts. Mass incarceration can be viewed as a systemic concern that is relevant to both the defendant’s history and the traditional sentencing purposes — including the need to benefit public safety and to ensure that sentences are fair and just. Information about mass incarceration would enhance courts’ understanding of the impacts of sentencing on the defendant and others in the local community. This Article articulates how this can be accomplished in federal sentencing and suggests doctrinal and practice changes that would enhance courts’ capacity to consider and mitigate the harms of mass incarceration in individual cases.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 49

Keywords: sentencing, incarceration, courts, judges

JEL Classification: K40, K14

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: February 21, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Traum, Anne R., Mass Incarceration at Sentencing. Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 64, No. 2, p. 423 (2013); UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2221474

Contact Information

Anne R. Traum (Contact Author)
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law ( email )
4505 South Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States
(702) 895-4399 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 529
Downloads: 86
Download Rank: 171,821
Footnotes:  137

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo5 in 0.329 seconds