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Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

The State of Sentencing 2007: Developments in Policy & Practice (The Sentencing Project)

  • Organization: The Sentencing Project
  • Author: Ryan S. King
  • Document Type: Report
  • Date Created: Monday, January 28, 2008
  • Submitted: Monday, January 28, 2008
  • Attachment(s): LINK

This new report from The Sentencing Project that highlights measures adopted by policymakers in 18 states during 2007 to review the effectiveness of their criminal justice systems or institute reforms to limit recidivism and sentence lengths.

The report, The State of Sentencing 2007: Developments in Policy and Practice, documents a number of important state criminal justice policy developments, including:

  • Nine states created oversight committees to examine sentencing laws, prison overcrowding, indigent defense, and/or reentry services;
  • Seven states amended parole policies and enhanced reentry preparation;
  • Four states eased policies that treat juveniles as adults;
  • Three states relaxed sexual offense laws related to consensual acts conducted by teenagers; and
  • Two states reformed mandatory sentencing enhancements.

The advances highlighted in The State of Sentencing 2007 reflect a pattern in state criminal justice policy that emphasizes effective public safety measures that control government expenditures. These developments continue a promising trend of "smart on crime" initiatives. Between 2004 and 2006, 22 states enacted sentencing reforms targeted at reducing the prison population. The report concludes with a set up recommendations for enhanced reforms


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