Sentencing Guidelines Resource Center: In-Depth Jurisdiction Profiles
Jurisdictions across the United States take varied approaches to figuring out appropriate sentences in criminal cases. Some jurisdictions have sentencing commissions to help guide policy decisions in these areas. And some also have sentencing guidelines, which are standards put in place to establish rational and consistent sentencing practices with the goal of producing more uniformity and proportionality in sentencing. In this section, we provide in-depth information describing the sentencing systems in states with sentencing commissions and sentencing guidelines. For those states with sentencing guidelines, we also describe the key elements that determine the strength of the guidelines system on the advisory to mandatory continuum and provide important case law interpreting the meaning and application of the guidelines.