indeterminate sentence

a penalty, imposed by a court, that has relatively wide limits or no limits, as one of imprisonment for one to ten years.
[1870-75]

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law
      in law, term of imprisonment with no definite duration within a prescribed maximum. Eligibility for parole is determined by the parole authority. In this respect, an indeterminate sentence differs from a definite one in that statutes prescribing the latter usually provide for parole eligibility after a specified fraction of the full term—in most countries, from one-half to two-thirds of the original sentence.

      Indeterminate sentences were pioneered in the reformatory movement of the last quarter of the 19th century. Release was determined by progress made under the program of training rather than by a judicially established sentence. In current practice, release on parole from an indeterminate sentence is initiated by the recommendation of prison staff personnel, field parole officers, and the parole authorities. Evaluation of the offender's conduct in prison, the nature of his offense, his life history, his prospects in the community, his general personality, and his attitude determine his suitability for parole.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • indeterminate sentence — see sentence Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. indeterminate sentence …   Law dictionary

  • Indeterminate sentence — (engl., spr. indëtörmĭnät ßénntens), »unbestimmtes Strafurteil« (s. d.), Verurteilung zu Freiheitsstrafe, deren Dauer von dem Verhalten des Verurteilten während des Strafvollzugs abhängt …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • indeterminate sentence — noun : a punitive sentence that fixes the term or amount of punishment only within certain limits and leaves the exact term or amount of punishment to be determined by administrative authorities * * * Criminal Law. a penalty, imposed by a court,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • indeterminate sentence — A sentence imposed for a crime, not for a precise period of time, but in terms of a minimum period and a maximum period of imprisonment as provided by statute for the particular offense. 21 Am J2d Crim L § 540 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • indeterminate sentence — /ɪndəˈtɜmənət ˌsɛntəns/ (say induh termuhnuht .sentuhns) noun a penalty imposed by a court which has relatively wide limits or no limits, as imprisonment for one to ten years …   Australian English dictionary

  • sentence — sen·tence 1 / sent əns, ənz/ n [Old French, opinion, judicial sentence, from Latin sententia, ultimately from sentire to feel, think, express an opinion] 1: a judgment formally pronouncing the punishment to be inflicted on one convicted of a… …   Law dictionary

  • indeterminate — I adjective ambiguous, anceps, boundless, cryptic, dubius, endless, equivocal, featureless, fluctuant, fluid, formless, hazy, ill defined, immeasurable, in a state of uncertainty, in doubt, inarticulated, incalculable, incertus, inconclusive,… …   Law dictionary

  • sentence, indefinite — n. A sentence that has a prescribed range of punishments set by law, for which the court and other officials have some discretion in sentencing and that may be ended early at the discretion of the parole board; also called indeterminate sentence …   Law dictionary

  • sentence — The judgment formally pronounced by the court or judge upon the defendant after his conviction in a criminal prosecution, imposing the punishment to be inflicted, usually in the form of a fine, incarceration, or probation. See e.g. 18 U.S.C.A. No …   Black's law dictionary

  • sentence — I n. judgment of a court 1) to impose, pass, pronounce (a) sentence 2) to carry out, execute a sentence 3) to serve (out) a sentence 4) to commute; reduce; suspend; vacate a sentence 5) a harsh, severe, stiff; light sentence 6) a death;… …   Combinatory dictionary

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