Parochialism in U.S. sentencing policy

Michael Tonry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The import/export trade in sentencing and corrections innovations between the United States and Europe is unbalanced. Humane, cost-effective sanctions such as prosecutorial fines, community service orders, and day fines have proliferated across national boundaries in Europe, but U.S. borders have proved impermeable. By contrast, American symbolic policies and rhetoric (e.g., three strikes, boot camps, truth in sentencing) have been adopted in mild forms in some English-speaking countries, but other European countries have shown no interest. The European focus on effectiveness, moderation, and humanity results in large part from constitutional arrangements that insulate sentencing and corrections policies from partisan and populist politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-65
Number of pages18
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


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