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Three Strikes Racks 'Em Up

NCJ Number
Journal of Prisoners on Prisons Volume: 6 Issue: 2 Dated: (1995) Pages: 3-6
P Wright
Date Published
4 pages
In November 1993, voters in the State of Washington passed Initiative 593 which mandates life without parole for defendants convicted of one of 42 qualifying felonies for the third time.
Proponents of the three strikes law claim it will keep career criminals off the street and in prison. The law eliminates good time and other time reductions for several offenses, including murder, rape, and robbery. It also forbids placing several categories of prisoners in any kind of work release, home detention, or similar program. Three strikes legislation is criticized in terms of similar past legislation, characteristics of career criminals, and prison costs. The importance of making a distinction in punishment for different offenses is emphasized, and the effectiveness of three strikes laws in deterring crime is seriously questioned. Provisions of Washington's three strikes law are compared with those of California's three strikes law.


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