Mandatory Penalties

Michael Tonry

in The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Criminal Justice

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195395082
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Mandatory Penalties

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This article summarizes research on the implementation, operation, and deterrent effects of mandatory sentencing laws. Section I examines research before 1970 while Section II examines the major empirical evaluations in the United States since then. Section III summarizes the small literature in other countries, primarily Australia, Canada, England and Wales, and South Africa. Although the mandatory penalties are much less harsh in those countries and the research is less extensive, the findings are indistinguishable from those in the United States. Section IV briefly examines research on deterrent effects. Section V tries to make sense of these findings and to outline their policy implications.

Keywords: mandatory sentencing laws; deterrence; Australia; Canada; England; Wales; South Africa

Article.  11444 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Courts and Procedure ; Prisons and Jails

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