The use and transformation of formal decision-making criteria: Sentencing guidelines, organizational contexts, and case processing strategies *

Jeffery T. Ulmer, John H. Kramer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

At some point, public and scholarly discourses on crime as a social problem invariably turn to criminal sentencing. For over three decades, political, media, and scholarly debates have addressed the efficacy of sentencing as a crime control strategy, the issue of bias or unwarranted disparity in sentencing, the uses and abuses of judicial or prosecutorial sentencing discretion, the legal and empirical consequences of widespread plea bargaining, and the possibilities and limitations of various reforms aimed at dealing with these issues. The embeddedness of state or corporate policies in local contexts implies that these policies potentially will be followed to different degrees and used in varying ways according to the interests, ideologies, and discretion of local-level individual and organizational actors. Pennsylvania’s sentencing guidelines, implemented in 1982, establish sentencing standards in which the severity of the convicted offense and the offender’s prior convictions are to be the major criteria for sentencing decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCriminal Courts
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages285-304
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781351160759
ISBN (Print)9780815388302
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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