Does mens rea matter to the criminal legal system? Our study addresses this question by performing the first-ever empirical analysis of a culpable mental state's impact on administration of a criminal statute.
Mar 23, 2022
Sentencing decisions—from community orders in the UK to mental health courts, mandatory minimum sentences, and "three strikes" laws in the United States—are increasingly under the microscope to lower crime rates and reduce recidivism. RAND has conducted evaluations of specific sentencing and corrections policies since well before the first three-strikes laws passed in 1994, and has reported on the costs and benefits of various sentencing laws, including whether they do in fact reduce crime.