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Journal of Law and Policy

Abstract

This article examines federal sentencing reform and embraces the principle of uncertainty in this process. In order to properly reapportion federal criminal sentencing laws, reformers must account for the impracticality of determining appropriate incarceration lengths at sentencing. Thus, this article proposes an alternative federal sentencing model that includes a sentencing effectiveness assessment tool to help lawmakers implement rational sentences that appropriately punish offenders, prepare them to successfully reenter society, and reduce recidivism rates. Modern sentencing reform should adopt constant review and evaluation of sentencing to measure effectiveness and ensure that appropriate sentences are implemented to avoid the pitfalls of an archaic sentencing regime. Law and policy makers should engage with research and sound logic to alleviate overcrowded prisons, reduce prison costs, ensure that prisoners are rehabilitated and fit to successfully reenter society, and that prisoners are appropriately and safely punished.