Sentencing and Penal Policies in Italy, 1985–2015: The Tale of a Troubled Country

45 Crime and Justice: A Review of Research 107-173 (2016)

Posted: 20 Jul 2016 Last revised: 10 Apr 2017

See all articles by Alessandro Corda

Alessandro Corda

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law; University of Minnesota Law School

Date Written: July 19, 2016

Abstract

Significant changes in Italian political, socioeconomic, and institutional contexts since 1985 have led to markedly harsher policies and laws. Sentencing law and penal policies have changed substantially. In the late 1980s, the legislature embraced rehabilitation in corrections and enacted a new Code of Criminal Procedure modeled on principles and values typical of adversarial legal systems. The demise in the early 1990s of the so-called First Republic due to the massive bribery scandal known as Mani Pulite (“Clean Hands”) profoundly affected the structure and functioning of the political system, perceptions of crime, and shaping of penal policies. Despite stable and declining crime rates, over time governments have enacted policies overrelying on criminal sanctions. Particular categories of offenders, undocumented immigrants and drug offenders, have been hit especially hard. Rapidly growing imprisonment rates produced overcrowding that was tackled mostly with alternatives to implementation of custodial sentences and pretrial detention. Persisting signs of punitive moderation for the most part are attributable to the inherent inefficiency of the criminal justice system, the “disintegration” of punishment at different stages of the process, and realpolitik policies adopted to address supranational concerns.

Keywords: sentencing; criminal law; criminal justice; comparative law

Suggested Citation

Corda, Alessandro, Sentencing and Penal Policies in Italy, 1985–2015: The Tale of a Troubled Country (July 19, 2016). 45 Crime and Justice: A Review of Research 107-173 (2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2811872

Alessandro Corda (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Belfast, BT7 1NN
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://pure.qub.ac.uk/en/persons/alessandro-corda

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

HOME PAGE: http://robinainstitute.umn.edu/people/alessandro-corda

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