An assessment of the attitudes and experiences of criminal justice officials has been overlooked as a factor in the evaluation of criminal justice reform.
This study uses data collected from a mail survey on the Minnesota felony sentencing guidelines. The survey was sent to a statewide sample of 200 criminal court judges, prosecutors, and public defenders. This study shows that officials' opposition to sentencing guidelines does not dissipate over time and varies according to their occupational status. The authors argue that the level of opposition may be indicative of the effectiveness of the guidelines in achieving their objectives. The authors believe that a survey approach is necessary for identifying problems with a new program and the feasibility of alternative policies. Other States considering reform are advised that the implementation of reform programs engenders ongoing contention and power struggles among conflicting interest groups. 4 Tables, 11 Notes, 22 References. (Author abstract modified)
Date Published: January 1, 1988