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The Evolution of the Determinate Ideal of Sentencing: An Illinois Case Study

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The past two decades have witnessed enormous changes in state sentencing structures. While many of the fundamental tenets of the determinate sentencing reform movement have changed since the 1970s, one bedrock principle has remained constant: the belief that the sentencing power of post-conviction administrators must be curbed. Yet, in many jurisdictions, the goal of the reform movement has been frustrated as sentencing discretion has merely shifted from parole boards to prison officials. This article presents a case study from Illinois to illustrate how institutions' adaptive responses to externally imposed reforms can enlarge the gap between the rhetoric and the reality of public policy.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Central Florida, Orlando.

Publication date: July 1, 1997


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