Organizational Imperatives and Sentencing Reform Implementation: The Impact of Prison Practices and Priorities on the Attainment of the Objective of Determinate Sentencing

John R. Hepburn, Lynne Goodstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Determinate sentencing, advocated as a means of increasing sentencing equity and reducing inmate release uncertainty and coerced program participation, has been heralded as a major criminal justice reform. Yet organizational theorists caution that successful implementation of a legal reform may be impeded by a number offactors. In this article we concentrate on the implementation of determinate sentencing reform by the correctional system and propose that its objectives will be compromised by its low priority relative to more visible,immediate, and central mandates of prison administration. Focusing on the reform states of Illinois, Minnesota, and Connecticut, the article explores the prison practices and policies governing good time, supervised release, and program participation.We conclude that the objectives of determinate sentencing were affected, to varying degrees, by more central and salient correctional concerns, such as prison crowding and the need to exert social control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-365
Number of pages27
JournalCrime & Delinquency
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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