Model penal code: Sentencing-workable limits on mass punishment

Kevin R Reitz, Cecelia M. Klingele

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


The Model Penal Code: Sentencing (MPCS) rewrites the 1962 Model Penal Code’s provisions on sentencing and corrections. Since the 1960s, use of all forms of punishment has exploded, including incarceration, community supervision, supervision revocation, economic sanctions, and collateral consequences of convictions. The MPCS provides an institutional framework for all major forms of punishment. It consists of a sentencing commission, sentencing guidelines, abolition of parole release discretion, appellate sentence review, and controls on correctional population size. It revamps sentencing procedures to inject greater fairness and transparency. It gives state legislators broad advice on how they can reform their systems as a whole, while improving decisions in each case. The MPCS recommends newly crafted limits on punishment through reasoned pursuit of utilitarian crime reduction goals, prohibition of disproportionate sentence severity, individualization of sentences that cuts through even mandatory minimum penalties, refinement of each type of punishment so it can achieve its core purposes, an attack on “criminogenic” sentences that do more harm than good, measures to prioritize and direct correctional resources to offenders who present the greatest risks and highest needs, and creation of institutional capacity to monitor, manage, and improve the entire system over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCrime and Justice
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
Number of pages57
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameCrime and Justice
ISSN (Print)0192-3234
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0416

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.


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