A tribute to Perry M. Johnson.

Author:Gondles, James A., Jr.
Position:Outgoing American Correctional Assn. President

For the past two years, ACA President Perry M. Johnson has been the lead bugler beckoning everyone within earshot to consider more sane and rational approaches to sentencing.

He repeatedly has pointed out the fallacies of public notions that if political leaders passed tough anti-crime legislation, America's streets would be safe again. Perry has countered these ideas with proposals for educating the public about the impact of short-sighted correctional strategies. He believes this can be done through forums on developing effective, humane sentencing policies; by stressing empowerment of the judiciary and by examining long-term costs before we make choices about appropriate sanctions.

Since unveiling his plan to address sentencing reform at the 1992 Congress of Correction, Perry has shared his views on justice, rational and disparate sentencing practices, alternatives to incarceration, the perceptions and realities of violence in America, criminal justice legislative initiatives, national correctional standards, and humanitarian concern for offenders and crime victims to audiences worldwide through convincing speeches, testimonies and published works. Perry's call for sentencing reform parallels the collective views of ACA's membership. He expertly framed and articulated these views, which has helped bring ACA to the forefront in developing comprehensive public policy as it relates to sentencing.


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