U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Multi-Site Evaluation of Sentencing Guidelines: Florida and North Carolina

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2000
95 pages
This is a study of a multi-site evaluation of sentencing guidelines in Florida and North Carolina.
The study observes the effects of sentencing guidelines and prison release policy changes on felony sentences and time served in Florida and North Carolina. Data for the study were collected by State court and corrections agencies for the period surrounding these policy changes, 1991 through 1997. In Florida, proportion of time served increased with each set of guidelines and associated release policy changes. Although admissions declined, demand on prison resources remained steady for serious inmates such as burglary and robbery offenders as time served increased commensurate with guidelines and release policies changes. Nonetheless, sentencing guidelines changes have a positive impact that is independent of the effects of admissions and release policies. Simulating future demand, the study finds that sentencing policies may double the number of prison beds required for such serious offenses by FY2013. In North Carolina, despite the increase for serious felonies effective with the 1995 guidelines, interrupted time-series indicate no change in primary offense charging patterns. Missing data probably attributable to record consolidation practices precludes definitive conclusions, but changes in prior record charging are not apparent. Also, there was no change in the proportion of cases for which active punishment was the presumed sentence that can be associated with guideline modifications in 1995. Notes, tables, figures, appendixes

Date Published: February 1, 2000