CrimProf Blog

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

Friday, May 19, 2023

Thomaidou & Berryessa on Sentencing and Psychology

Mia Thomaidou and Colleen M. Berryessa (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - School of Criminal Justice and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - School of Criminal Justice) have posted Sentencing (In P. Zapf (Ed.), APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology (2nd Ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This is a forthcoming chapter on criminal sentencing for the second edition of the APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology. The chapter begins by describing the historical context, standards, goals, and significance of criminal sentencing in the United States (U.S.). In an effort to elucidate the key influences to and practices by which courts reach sentencing decisions, we then describe psychological and cognitive-behavioral theories relevant to sentencing decision-making. After describing these theories and principles guiding our understanding of the cognitive and computational shortcuts involved in decision-making, we review relevant sentencing research and case law. Key legal, extralegal, and extraneous factors that can influence sentencing are also described to provide a more comprehensive view of sentencing decision-making in practice. We then discuss the significance of sociocultural identities and systemic inequalities in sentencing related to past and current practices, as well as concerns regarding the future of sentencing decision-making that may increasingly rely on automation. Finally, policy issues are discussed, with a particular focus on de-biasing humans, machines, and improving overall sentencing decision-making.

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