The first article explains the recommendations "Consistency in Sentencing" issued by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 1992 to eliminate unwarranted disparity in sentences. The following article discusses the United States' experience with sentencing guidelines and outlines a sentencing model for European countries. Next, punitiveness in some European countries is analyzed; the Netherlands emerges as less punitive than other European countries while Great Britain is described as most punitive. An article on the integration of alternative sentencing traces the development of alternatives to detention as a result of rising crime, the growth of the prison population, changing ideas of punishment, and the trend toward humanization of the criminal justice system. Next, the Swedish sentencing law of 1988 with its emphasis on the proportionality of sentences is analyzed. The last contribution relates the problem of prison overcrowding to the sentencing policy in several European countries. They also distinguish three policies in response to the rising prison population: an expansionist policy, a reductionist policy, and a stand- still policy. Only the reductionist policy offers a real solution to the lack of prison capacity.