Lawyers who work in the criminal justice system, whether they are judges, prosecutors, or defense attorneys, should know corrections. To use a medical analogy, if the correctional process is the medicine that is prescribed for convicted offenders, lawyers should know as much about it and its effect on the patient as possible. The knowledge about corrections which lawyers need to be effective at sentencing can be divided into four categories.' First, lawyers should know the human and legal consequences of conviction and sentencing. Incarceration can have profound and unintended consequences on the offender and his family. It can, for example, create and exacerbate economic and family problems due to the offender's absence from home. Ideally, these consequences would be foreseen and explored before the sentencing decision is made. Knowledge of parole eligibility, good time law, and parole criteria is equally crucial, because such knowledge can affect the sentence argued for and ultimately imposed. Second, lawyers must know how the correctional system operates. For instance, in correctional and parole decision making great reliance is placed on the information in the presentence report. Not only can this information affect an offender's parole date, but it is usually the basis for security and program decisions which profoundly affect the quality of life for the offender during confinement. Lawyers at sentencing, therefore, should pay great attention to the report.2 The defense lawyer may rightfully conclude that his responsibility is to see to it that the offender is presented in as sympathetic light as possible. At the same time, the defense lawyer, together with the judge and the prosecutor, will want to ensure accuracy in the report. Third, both defense lawyers and prosecutors need to know their proper role at sentencing. For years lawyers have neglected this stage in the criminal justice process. Yet, the profound impact of sentencing on the client dictates that lawyers be more vigorous at this stage. Effectiveness, however, requires that lawyers know their role, and this is not always easy. Who decides what sentence to seek? Is this for the client whose life is being so deeply affected? Or is it for the lawyer who may know more about what can be achieved at sentencing?a If probation is sought, is it the lawyer's job to help the client find employment, to settle his family problems, and to do whatever else is feasible to increase his chances for a successful probation? Surely, probation is more apt to be imposed if successful completion is likely. Finally, lawyers must know how to utilize their knowledge at the sentencing hearing. While knowledge of the consequences of conviction, of how the system operates, and of the role of the lawyer are important, effectiveness requires that it be brought to bear in specific cases. This requires a host of qualities not directly related to corrections, such as the ability to care, the ability to work hard, resourcefulness, and judgment." In this short article I will briefly describe the more significant current developments in corrections. Some developments, such as the lack of comprehensive correctional policies, while important to clients and the criminal justice system in general, are matters over which lawyers will have little, if any, influence at sentencing.5 These matters are more significant for lawyers who work on correctional and post-conviction matters. Other developments, such as changes in sentencing systems and new possibilities in probation, will directly affect what lawyers do because of the effect on offenders. After describing developments in correctional policy making, institutions, community supervision, sentencing, and parole decision making, I will analyze briefly their significance for lawyers, given my view of the qualities lawyers need to be effective.