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July 6, 2008

US Sentencing Commission symposium on incarceration alternatives

I am excited and encouraged to report that the United States Sentencing Commission is conducting a two-day symposium on alternatives to incarceration later this month.  Here is the announcement from the USSC's offical webpage:

The United Sates Sentencing Commission will host a Symposium on Crime and Punishment: Alternatives to Incarceration on July 14-15, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. The list of symposium presenters includes federal judges, key congressional staff, professors of law and the social sciences, corrections and alternative sentencing practitioners and specialists, federal prosecutors and public defenders, and prison officials.  The preliminary agenda may be accessed here.  For more information about the symposium, contact the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at 202/502-4597.

Unfortunately, other commitments will likely keep me from attending this terrific and important event.  But I hope to be able to blog about the event (perhaps with the help of on-the-scene correspondents) even though I will not be able to participate in person.

July 6, 2008 at 09:23 AM | Permalink


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... but no ex-offenders.

Odd eh?


Posted by: Dr Nigel Leigh Oldfield | Jul 6, 2008 9:53:20 AM

Why is it odd? Most of the speakers are from fields that will not admit persons with criminal records.
There were a few sociology professors that were felons but I think some of them have retired and the others
don't appear to be that active. Doing research on corrections was out of style for a number of years and the number crunchers seem to be dominating the field today.

Posted by: John Neff | Jul 6, 2008 11:18:55 AM

This agenda is actually a very good statement of where 30 years of sentencing policy has gotten us. In a time when the head of NIDA is predicting major remedies for substance abuse on the health side within a decade, there is no panel to inform the practitioners of the possibilities and only perhaps Faye Taxman and Beth Weinman able to speak directly to the topic. Sentencing policy in the US has been a clear case of many good people and minds sidetracked down at best occasionally productive roads for a very long time. There is much of interest here, but sentencing and corrections will be the same contentious mess when the conference is done as they have for the last three decades. We'll know when progress is being made when the NIDA folks are on hand as a general matter of course.

Posted by: Michael Connelly | Jul 6, 2008 2:56:52 PM

Sentencing practices will change once politicians pay more attention to research findings and shape policies that are in tandem with finding instead of playing hothead role of "let's get tough on crime and build new prisons" although our crime rate has been going down since the 70's.

When it comes to sentencing, our policies are antiquated and more than just NOT pragmatic.

Posted by: Ange | Jul 14, 2008 5:09:20 PM

This is a must read blog on a weekly basis for me!

Posted by: ann armstrong | Aug 12, 2008 9:08:14 PM

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