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How does sentencing work in Pennsylvania?  

In Pennsylvania, sentencing judges use sentencing guidelines to determine the most appropriate sentence for an offender based on the seriousness of the offense (Offense Gravity Score) and the prior criminal history (Prior Record Score) of the offender. Pennsylvania has an indeterminate sentencing system, which means that a sentence of incarceration is structured in terms of a range, (1 year minimum to 2 years maximum) as opposed to a finite number of days or years (1 year).  

The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing is required by statute to adopt guidelines for sentencing within the limits established by law (42 Pa.C.S. §2154).  Pennsylvania law provides for sentencing alternatives ranging from guilt without further penalty to total incarceration. 

To find data related to sentencing in Pennsylvania please click here.