The "Traditional" Indeterminate Sentencing Model

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

19 Scopus citations


This article discusses the traditional American "indeterminate" sentencing systems, which are still used in approximately half the states in America. It shows that the parole boards hold most of the authority with regards to the lengths of most prison terms. It then summarizes the current knowledge on these systems, and records some of the differences across systems. This article concludes that there is no basis with which to form policy judgments of "worse" or "practices".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Sentencing and Corrections
EditorsJoan Petersilia, Kevin Reitz
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199968756
ISBN (Print)9780199730148
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012


  • Authority
  • Indeterminate sentencing systems
  • Parole boards
  • Prison terms


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