Rasam

Topics: Prison, Crime, Criminal justice Pages: 19 (5704 words) Published: August 10, 2013
The author(s) shown below used Federal funds provided by the U.S. Department of Justice and prepared the following final report:

Document Title:

Alternative Sentencing Policies for Drug Offenders: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Kansas Senate Bill 123, Executive Summary Don Stemen, Andres F. Rengifo 238013 March 2012 2006-IJ-CX-4032

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Opinions or points of view expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

This document is a research report submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice. This report has not been published by the Department. Opinions or points of view expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Alternative Sentencing Policies for Drug Offenders: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Kansas Senate Bill 123 Final Report to the National Institute of Justice Grant No: 2006-IJ-CX-4032

Don Stemen, Principal Investigator Loyola University Chicago Andres F. Rengifo, Principal Investigator University of Missouri, Saint Louis

March 2012

Executive Summary for National Institute of Justice Grant No: 2006-IJ-CX-4032

This document is a research report submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice. This report has not been published by the Department. Opinions or points of view expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Executive Summary
As state incarceration rates continued to surge through the late 1990s, policymakers encountered growing fiscal constraints and social scrutiny that weakened the systematic use of incarceration as a response to low-level drug offenders. Some states, like Michigan and New York, responded by repealing mandatory prison sentences for drug offenses.1 Kansas took a markedly different approach, implementing mandatory probation sentences for individuals convicted of simple drug possession. In 2003, the Kansas Legislature enacted Senate Bill 123 (SB 123), which created mandatory community-based supervision and substance abuse treatment for individuals convicted of a first or second offense of simple drug possession (codified at Kansas Statutes Annotated §21-4729). Under SB 123, judges must sentence nonviolent drug possessors who have no prior convictions for drug sale or manufacture to up to eighteen months of community corrections supervision and drug treatment. SB 123 emerged with the explicit system-level goal of reducing prison populations. This was accomplished, in the first instance, by creating a mandatory non-prison sentence to divert prison-bound drug possessors at sentencing. Reducing prison populations was also dependent on accomplishing an individual-level goal of decreasing recidivism rates for drug possessors by creating comprehensive community-based drug treatment. Research has shown that intermediate sanctions focused on prison diversion generally have limited diversionary impacts, due to poorly defined eligibility requirements or discretionary decisions of courtroom actors.2 Evaluations of diversion programs have also found that such

See, e.g., Wool, J., & Stemen, D. (2004). Changing fortunes or changing attitudes?: Sentencing and corrections reforms in 2003. New York: Vera Institute of Justice. 2 See, e.g., Petersilia, J. (1998). Community corrections: Probation, parole, and intermediate sanctions. New York: Oxford University Press; Petersilia, J., & Turner, S. (1993). Intensive probation and parole. Crime and Justice, 17, 281-335; Tonry, M. (1996). Sentencing matters. New York: Oxford University Press....
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