CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wolff on Cost, Recidivism, and Justice

Wolff michaelMichael A. Wolff (Saint Louis University - School of Law) has posted Missouri Provides Cost of Sentences and Recidivism Data: What Does Cost Have to Do with Justice? (Federal Sentencing Reporter, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission in 2010, which has an information-based sentencing information system, added two items of information to its Web-based Automated Sentencing Information feature: (1) the cost of each sentencing option and (2) the recidivism rate for offenders – with similar risk factors – who received sentences for the same offense or category of offenses. Because sentencing decisions in Missouri are discretionary, judges are free to use or to disregard the information. For many offenses, however, it is possible for an advocate to argue or for a judge (or the public) to conclude that a more harsh sentence not only may cost more, but may be followed by a higher rate of re-offending than a less severe punishment.

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