Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quotes from a 'Century End Report' on SRA - WA State Sentencing Guidelines Commission

"Changes to sentencing law over the years have generally resulted in the growth of the prison population and in the lengthening of prison terms, which has put upward pressure on the amount of resources needed to deal with that increasing population.  In addition, the Act itself has become increasingly complex, which has arguably reduced public understanding of the law and may have compromised the ability of criminal justice practitioners to implement the law effectively."  
"Legislative amendments to the rules for “scoring” an offender’s criminal history have led some to conclude that sentences are often disproportionate to the offenses, particularly with regard to drug offenses." 

"The Commission is troubled by the problem of over-representation of minorities in the criminal justice system.  Many racial and/or ethnic disparities have arisen well before the time of sentencing, however, and therefore, there is not only a need to examine disparities in sentencing, but also to   focus on other points of discretion arising earlier in the justice process."
Full report at

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