Sentencing policies and reform have become critical issues across the nation as the public has become increasingly concerned about crime, prompting changes such as the three strikes and you re out legislation. Every state since 1980 has enacted laws mandating minimum prison sentences based on the premises that harsher penalties will reduce crime rates and that judges cannot otherwise be trusted to impose them. Modern laws often tell judges what sentence to impose rather than set boundaries within which sentencing choices are to be made. Yet the effectiveness of these reforms has not been shown. As the national incarceration rate surges, there needs to be new discussion of the nature, purpose, and effects of current and contemplated sentencing policies. In Sentencing Matters, Michael Tonry, an internationally recognized authority in the field, offers a comprehensive overview of research, policy developments and practical experience concerning sentencing and sanctions. He examines the effects of increased penalties and whether America has become a safer place as a result. Tonry contends that in order for sentencing to be fair and effective, comprehensive and defensible policies must be in place and mechanisms must exist to implement those policies. He also looks at mandatory penalties, community sanctions, and sentencing changes in other countries, and proposes sentencing policies for the twenty-first century. Sentencing has been going through reform for a quarter century, yet the political debates on the subject have changed remarkably little. By offering a comprehensive survey of new developments in research and policy, Sentencing Matters is certain to spark fresh debate on this divisive issue. It will be of great interest to lawyers, criminologists, judges, policy makers, and others concerned with the problem of crime and what to do about it.Tonry, Michael H. is the author of 'Sentencing Matters' with ISBN 9780195094985 and ISBN 0195094980.