Brian J. Ostrom and Charles W. Ostrom

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology


Show Summary Details


Truth-in-sentencing (TIS) describes a range of justice system policies that eliminate discretionary parole release and significantly reduce good-time accrual rates in an attempt to make sentencing both more certain and transparent. TIS policies are most often proposed as a means for ensuring that the amount of time an offender actually serves in prison is closely aligned with the sentence originally imposed by the court—the court, the victim, and the public know how long the offender will be imprisoned. These policies follow several decades of shifting sentencing philosophies and practices: Indeterminate sentencing and powerful parole boards characterized the early 1970s; paroling authorities fell out of favor with the introduction of determinate sentencing models in the late 1970s; and sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences became commonplace during the 1980s. The adoption of TIS became one of the major objectives for sentencing reform at both federal and state levels in the 1990s. Generally, the model of TIS holds that sentencing authority rests with the court and that sentences should be served in full. Only modest reductions in sentence length based on satisfactory behavior while incarcerated are acceptable. Philosophically, TIS draws largely on a “just deserts” philosophy, in which sentences are fixed proportionally on offense seriousness and, to a lesser extent, on prior criminal history. This philosophy contrasts with indeterminate models that split authority over the final sentence between the court and some other entity, such as a parole board. In those systems, the court sentences the offender to a specific term, within a range, or to an unspecified period, and a parole body determines the actual release date—often based upon rehabilitation potential.

Article.  7804 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.