Reducing Severe Sentences: Role of Prison Programming in Sentencing Reform.
Criminology & Public Policy; May 2015, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p397-405, doi: 2048/10.1111/1745-9133.12129
9 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2017 Last revised: 16 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 1, 2015
Some academics and policy makers have begun to challenge the use of severe sentences not only for nonviolent offenders but also for all offenders. The call for an across-the-board reduction in severe sentences reflects several basic truths: Severe sentences are a significant driver of both increased incarceration rates and increases in the absolute number of people in prison. Severe sentences carry staggering financial and social costs with millions of dollars expended on sustaining mass incarceration policies that have decimated poor communities of color. Severe sentences are not always necessary or effective in meeting punishment goals such as retribution, deterrence, or incapacitation; nor are they aligned with human rights, human dignity, or international punishment norms.
Keywords: prison, sentencing, criminal justice policy
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation