discretion. In the more traditional form of indeterminate sentencing, the judge speci- fies maximum and minimum durations within limits set by statute. The judge has discre- tion over the minimum and maximum sentences. Presumptive Guidelines Sentencing Sentencing meets all the following conditions: (1) the appropriate sentence for an offender in a specific case is presumed to fall within a range authorized by guidelines adopted by a legislatively created sentencing body, usually a sentencing commission; (2) judges are expected to sentence within the range or provide written justification for departure; and (3) the guidelines provide for review of the departure, usually by appeal to a higher court. Presumptive guidelines may employ determinate or indeterminate sentencing structures. Voluntary/Advisory Guidelines Sentencing Recommended sentencing policies are not required by law. They serve as a guide and are based on past sentencing practices. The legislature has not mandated their use. Voluntary/advisory guidelines may use determinate or indeterminate sentencing structures. Mandatory Minimum Sentencing A minimum sentence is specified by statute for all offenders convicted of a particular crime or a particular crime with special circumstances (e.g., robbery with a firearm or selling drugs to a minor within 1,000 feet of a school). Mandatory minimums can be used in both determinate and indeterminate sentencing structures. Within an indeter- minate sentencing structure, the mandatory minimum requires the inmate to serve a fixed amount of time in prison before being eligible for release with the approval of a parole board. Under a determinate sentence, the offender is required to serve a fixed amount of time in prison before being eligible for release. Visit the-drug-laws-that-changed-how-we-punish or scan this code with the QR app on your smartphone or digital device to read or listen to a National Public Radio discussion of how New York’s 1970s-era Rockefeller drug laws changed the face of sentencing in America. R I L E Y , A N G E L I Q U E 7 0 5 6 B U
68 PART 1 Introduction to Corrections Indeterminate Sentencing By the close of the 19th century, sentencing reform in the United States began replacing the flat sentence with indeterminate sentences. 22 At the time, the criminal justice system was coping with a rapidly expanding and increasingly diverse prison population, increased efficiency of police and courts, and other factors. Overcrowded prisons and the warehousing of inmates resulted. 23 In an indeterminate sentence, the judge specifies a maximum length and a minimum length within limits set by statute, and a parole board determines the actual time of release. The parole board’s determination depends on its judgment of whether the prisoner has been reformed, has been cured, or has simply served enough time. An example of an indeter- minate sentence is “5 to 10 years in prison.” A second form of indetermi- nate sentencing requires the judge to specify only the maximum sentence length with the associated minimum set by statute. Some states, for exam-
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