Research guides

Sentencing in Pennsylvania

Sentencing Guidelines

"Sentencing guidelines promote sentencing equity and fairness by providing every judge with a common reference point for sentencing similar offenders convicted of similar crimes.  The legislative mandate to adopt guidelines is  located under 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 2154.  Sentencing guidelines must be considered by the court in determining the appropriate sentence for offenders who plead guilty or nolo contendere or who were found guilty of felonies and misdemeanors." Pa. Commission on Sentencing, Frequently Asked Questions: Sentencing Guidelines, Updated July 11, 2016, at 3.

Sentencing Guidelines are available for free online from the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing. Jenkins also has, in print, the Sentencing Guidelines Implementation Manual. See below for more details.

Sentencing Guidelines are also included in the Pennsylvania Code. For how to access the Pennsylvania Code, see the Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin research guide.

Free Online Resources

Sentencing Guidelines Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing
Includes current and prior editions, as well as current and prior amendments.

Sentencing Guidelines Pennsylvania Code, Title 204, Chapter 303


Sentencing Guidelines Implementation Manual
Library has previous editions back to 1982: see all.

Research Tip

Additional material may be available at Jenkins. Search the Jenkins' catalog for sentencing and limit the location to Pennsylvania for a more detailed list.