author={Thomas B. Marvell and Carlisle E. Jr. Moody},
We estimate the impact of determinate sentencing laws (DSLs) on prison commitments, prison populations, and Uniform Crime Report crime rates. Ten states enacted these laws between 1976 and 1984; all abolished parole and most established presumptive sentences. The research uses a multiple time-series design that, among other benefits, controls for national trends and facilitates the use of control variables. We found that DSLs are clearly associated with prison population growth in only one… Expand
The Prison Boom and Sentencing Policy
The existing literature on the role of changes in sentencing policies as drivers of growth in prison populations contains findings that appear contradictory. We present a new method forExpand
The impact of state sentencing policies on the U.S. prison population
This article examines the aggregate effects of neoclassical sentencing reforms on three often contested outcomes of these reforms. The rate of new court commitments, the average length of timeExpand
The Effect of State Sentencing Policies on Incarceration Rates
This aricle explores the relationship between sentencing policies and the state incarceration rate, prison admission rate, and average sentence length in the late 1990s. Presumptive sentencingExpand
Charting the Evolution of Structure and Determinacy in State Sentencing and Corrections Policies 1970–2010
This study examines state policies governing criminal sentencing and prison release decisions between 1970 and 2010. The goal is to create common definitions and operationalizations of policies toExpand
The Impact of Sentencing Guidelines on State-Level Sanctions: An Analysis Over Time
This article argues that the conclusions of previous research on the impact of sentencing guidelines may be misleading due to the cross-sectional methodologies employed in these studies. This studyExpand
The Political Context of Sentencing: An Analysis of Community and Individual Determinants
Most studies of jail or prison sentence length focus on whether offender characteristics produce sentencing differentials after legal effects have been controlled, but the findings in the literatureExpand
The Myths and Realities of Correctional Severity: Evidence from the National Corrections Reporting Program on Sentencing Practices
Though the growth in US prison populations over the past three decades - from 300,000 inmates in the 1970s to 1.6 million today - is well known, its causes are not. This paper examines one potentialExpand
The Unintended Effects of Penal Reform
The authors use a pooled-time series design to examine the interplay between state incarceration rates, determinate sentencing, and the size of the African American population between 1978 and 2004.Expand
Race and Imprisonments: Vigilante Violence, Minority Threat, and Racial Politics
A pooled time-series design is used to assess lynching and racial threat effects on state imprisonments from 1972 to 2000 to confirm a political version of racial threat theory by indicating that increased Republican political strength produces additional imprisonments. Expand
Indeterminate and Determinate Sentencing Models
This article compares the effects of indeterminate and determinate sentencing models on recidivism using a measure of parole board discretionary release and mandatory parole release under eachExpand


America's Soaring Prison Population
  • P. Langan
  • Political Science, Medicine
  • Science
  • 1991
Rising incarceration rates have been gradual reductions in U.S. crime rates after 1973, according to annual crime victimization surveys, and the possibility that rising incarceration rates are helping to reduce crime must be weighed in debates about America's prisons. Expand
Prison population growth and crime reduction
The impact of state prison populations on crime is typically estimated by applying the lambda, the individual crime rate, of prisoners or arrestees. We outline the problems with this approach,Expand
Organizational Imperatives and Sentencing Reform Implementation: The Impact of Prison Practices and Priorities on the Attainment of the Objective of Determinate Sentencing
Determinate sentencing, advocated as a means of increasing sentencing equity and reducing inmate release uncertainty and coerced program participation, has been heralded as a major criminal justiceExpand
Discretion and the Determinate Sentence: Its Distribution, Control, and Effect on Time Served
Sentencing reformers have criticized current sentencing practices as abusive and as rooted in untenable assumptions. While many different approaches have been suggested, most reformers agree thatExpand
Prison commitments, crime, and unemployment: A theoretical and empirical specification for the United States, 1933–1985
This paper examines sources for the changing commitment rates to U.S. state prisons (PCR) from 1933 to 1985 using a variety of time-series techniques. Theoretically, it resolves ambiguousExpand
Determinate Sentencing and the High Cost of Overblown Rhetoric: The New York Experience
With the advent of the national movement for determinate sentencing in the 1970s and the development of sentencing guidelines, a century of sentencing stability in the United States came to an end.Expand
The Politics and Processes of Sentencing Commissions
Prison overcrowding has intensified interest in sentencing commissions and guidelines. Minnesota and Washington have demonstrated that such systems can conserve state resources and buffer politicalExpand
Using Early Release to Relieve Prison Crowding: A Dilemma in Public Policy
Between 1980 and 1983, the Illinois Department of Corrections made an early release of over 21,000 inmates in response to a prison crowding crisis. During this period, over 5,900 prison years wereExpand
Labor Surplus and Punishment: A Review and Assessment of Theory and Evidence
Since the pioneering work ofRusche and Kirchheimer (1939), the theoretical links between labor surplus and punishment have seen extensive development. Eleven of those links described here areExpand
Evaluating Criminal Justice Reforms
Research on the implementation of criminal justice reforms, such as sentence guidelines, determinate sentence laws, and no plea bargaining policies, has proliferated in recent years. This researchExpand