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A rage to punish : the unintended consequences of mandatory sentencing

Author: Lois G Forer
Publisher: New York : Norton, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
For the past two centuries, the United States has relied on prison as the punishment of choice for law violators although it has not deterred crime or rehabilitated offenders. Since the 1970s increasingly severe sentencing laws, both mandatory sentences and sentencing guidelines, have been adopted by the federal government and the states. The results have been massive prison overcrowding, the expenditure of millions  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Lois G Forer
ISBN: 0393036413 9780393036411
OCLC Number: 28928050
Description: 204 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Ch. 1. Where We Were --
Ch. 2. The Reformation --
Ch. 3. The Counter Reformation --
Ch. 4. The Prison --
Ch. 5. Capital Punishment --
Ch. 6. Another Way --
Ch. 7. A New Agenda.
Responsibility: Lois G. Forer.

Abstract:

For the past two centuries, the United States has relied on prison as the punishment of choice for law violators although it has not deterred crime or rehabilitated offenders. Since the 1970s increasingly severe sentencing laws, both mandatory sentences and sentencing guidelines, have been adopted by the federal government and the states. The results have been massive prison overcrowding, the expenditure of millions of tax dollars on prisons, crowded court dockets, and incredible hardship on the offenders and their families. Crime has not been decreased. Streets are no safer. Respect for law has diminished. Judges, prison wardens, and concerned citizens demand a change in this costly and futile program of punishment. In a mix of history, anecdote, and accounts of her own cases, Lois Forer, who was a trial judge in Philadelphia for sixteen years, here writes about the folly and cruelty of present sentencing laws. Based on her own successful experiment with alternative means of sentencing, she proposes a more rational system of sentencing, one that would be less expensive and more humane, that uses prison only for those who are truly dangerous and for all others a program of well-supervised probation and payment of restitution or reparations. This is a proposal that has at its heart not punishment but public safety, deterrence, and rehabilitation.

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