Throughout its history, the criminal law has developed primarily through judicial interpretation of case law and legislative enactment of statutes. It is only in the recent past that an effort has been made to apply the planning process of standards and goals to the criminal justice system. At the national level, the impetus has come primarily from the American Bar Association (ABA) Project on Standards for Criminal Justice, which has been in existence for over ten years and has been widely publicized, and from the National Advisory Commission (NAC) on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals. In 1971, the NAC stated that the purpose of its standards and goals process was to "formulate for the first time national crimi- nal justice standards and goals for crime reduction and prevention at the state and local levels."
Ronald J. Bacigal,
The Criminal Justice Standards and Goals Process in Virginia,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol11/iss3/5