What does discretion mean in criminal justice

Already a member?

what does discretion mean in criminal justice

Toward the rational exercise of discretion. Forgot password? We find that an increase in the statutory sentence for a given crime can increase sentence length for those who are charged with the crime, and also for those who are charged with factually 'similar' crimes, where a 'similar' crime is defined as one that has legal elements in common with the given crime. These spillovers are consistent with neither broad social norms nor internal social norms, so we conclude that discretion takes a less-well studied form, which we call 'prosecutorial maximization.

Share This Book. International Finance and Macroeconomics. This is the introduction to the landmark National Research Council volume on sentencing. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Special Projects: Rawls 1971, p.

what does discretion mean in criminal justice

The best example of this type of contradiction comes in the case of mandatory sentences, where legislative intent is frequently averted through the use of prosecutorial discretion. An irony within law enforcement exists because while a law enforcement structure is different from the military, the police still have a quasi-military structure.

7.1 The Ethics Surrounding Discretion

Lipsky 1980 further asserts that discretion among police officers will always be mandatory due to the inevitable lack of resources and the need for an efficient service.

However, even the most detailed rules allow for discretion, and it is possible that this discretion will allow actors subject to the rules to countermand or contradict the rules. Without discretion the police, and indeed the whole criminal justice system, would become overwhelmed with cases, resulting in public displeasure McLaughlin, 2009.

First, Dworkin 1977 treatment of the subject, which distinguishes between the routine exercise of discretion and the more controversial use of discretion to alter policies viewed as misguided; and second, Gottfredson and Gottfredson 1988 , a book on discretion, which offers a thoughtful account of the essential aspects of discretion and how it can be used effectively to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system.

New York: Although a substantial body of research suggests that the discretion of discretion of actors in the criminal justice system is important, there is disagreement in the existing empirical literature over its role. An updated version of the chart can be found on the Bureau of Justice Statistics website.

Jump to Other Articles: The Women Working Longer Project.

The Role of Discretion in the Criminal Justice System

Policies such as these are regarded as examples of positive arrest policies or legislation where the intention is to limit discretion in favour of arrests Rowe, 2007. We reject both of these hypotheses using data on the sentencing of California prisoners before and after Proposition 8, which provided for sentence enhancements for those convicted of certain serious' crimes with qualifying' criminal histories.

Discretion is the latitude granted officials to act under a formal set of rules and in a public capacity.

what does discretion mean in criminal justice

The document is also notable for its consideration of police, courts, and corrections chapters 4, 5, and 6 in the context of crime control. Since this policy is intended to limit discretion, it ultimately holds officers accountable if they choose not to arrest while still affording them the facade of autonomy Rowe, 2007.