ERIC Number: ED216984
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Criminal Sentencing Alternatives. A Report of a Wingspread Conference (Racine, WI, March 21-22, 1977).
This publication contains the proceedings of a Wingspread conference held in Racine, Wisconsin in March 1977, dealing with the topic of criminal sentencing alternatives. The conference grew out of a controversy within the Wisconsin Council on Criminal Justice over "determinant" versus "indeterminant" sentencing. Under a determinant sentencing system, the offender serves a specific legislatively prescribed sentence for a specific crime. Judges have only limited discretion to vary the sentence. The parole board function of evaluating prisoners for release is abolished. With indeterminant sentencing, the system used in Wisconsin and 46 of the 50 states, judges have broad discretionary powers when sentencing. Although many judges do use general, personal guidelines for determining sentences, those guidelines can and do vary widely from judge to judge and from region to region. Under this system, after a person is sentenced, the parole board has wide latitude in determining whether an offender will be released early or made to serve his full sentence. There are five sections to the report. The problems with indeterminant sentencing are discussed in section one. In the second section, an inmate, a legislator, and an attorney talk about their feelings concerning the indeterminant sentencing system. What the determinant sentencing system would do to curb these problems is then examined. Problems with the determinant sentencing system are dealt with in the third section. Other alternatives to the problem are discussed in section four. The final section describes concerns of the discussion groups participating in the conference. (RM)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Johnson Foundation, Inc., Racine, WI.; Wisconsin Council on Criminal Justice, Madison.; Wisconsin State Dept. of Health and Social Services, Madison.