FEEDBACK

Mandatory Sentencing

May 26, 1995 • Volume 5, Issue 20
Do tough sentencing laws reduce crime?
By Margaret Edwards

Introduction

Responding to public concern about crime, state and federal lawmakers in recent years have approved tough sentencing laws designed to “send a clear message” to criminals. Despite such stringent sentencing reforms as mandatory minimums, abolition of parole and “three strikes and you're out” for repeat offenders, crime and drug use continue at high levels. Advocates of tougher penalties say they ensure that violent crimes are punished consistently and firmly, and that over time criminals will learn crime does not pay. Critics argue that the laws are unfair, do not deter crime and waste scarce prison space by putting the wrong kinds of offenders behind bars. As the Republican-controlled Congress seeks to revise the $30 billion 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill, sentencing remains a contentious issue.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Criminal Sentencing
Nov. 05, 2004  Sentencing Debates
May 10, 2002  Three-Strikes Laws
Feb. 12, 1999  Plea Bargaining
May 26, 1995  Mandatory Sentencing
Jun. 14, 1974  Plea Bargaining
Feb. 13, 1937  Probation, Reformation, and Parole
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Crime and Law Enforcement
Drug Abuse
Sentencing and Corrections
FEEDBACK

Your Email Address

Subject

Provide Feedback

Suggest a topic here.

Type the characters you see below into the box

Take our survey to help us improve CQ Researcher!