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Sentencing Guidelines: Step 11, Chapter 11

Structure Incentives and Rewards into the Committed Sentence and/or Probation

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Probation and Sentencing Incentives

The Commission recommends that judges and counsel structure sentences to employ incentives that reduce recidivism and promote positive outcomes, in both initial sentencing and during the course of a sentence of probation. Any change should be accomplished with close attention to the chapter on Victim Communication Best Practices. However, if applied in compliance with Victim Communication Best Practices, ad hoc incentives at any point, including long after initial sentencing, are recommended.

Incentives obviously can involve length of probation term reductions, but may additionally be used to reduce committed sentence terms (if by agreement and in compliance with the Victim Communication Best Practices, or if the Supreme Judicial Court broadens the scope of relief available from a Motion to Revise and Revoke, which the Commission recommends), to delete or modify probation conditions that are no longer appropriate, to terminate probation, and to the extent costs or fees are imposed, which the Commission cautions against, to waive such costs or fees.

For ease of reference, a chart of years reduced by 3 months per year follows:

One Year                9 Months

Two Years           18 Months

Three Years          27 Months

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John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square - G300
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: April 26, 2019
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