skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 194339 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Unintended Impacts of Sentencing Guidelines on Family Structure, Revised Technical Report
Author(s): Samuel L. Myers Jr.; Roy Wilkins
Corporate Author: University of Minnesota
Hubert H Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and School of Social Work
United States of Ameri
Date Published: January 2000
Page Count: 116
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Grant Number: 96-CE-VX-0015
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

University of Minnesota
Hubert H Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and School of Social Work
267 19th Ave
S 909 Social Sci
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States of America
Document: PDF
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This federally funded report studied the potential impacts of sentencing reforms and incarceration on the family structure. The problem was examined from various angles to understand the causal relationships between male withdrawal from productive areas of the economy and resulting changes in the community and families.
Abstract: Funded and supported by U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, this study examined potential adverse impacts on families due to sentencing reforms and resulting incarceration. The main hypothesis of the study was that when there was an increase in incarceration due to changes in sentencing policies the supply of marriageable men was depleted causing an increase in female-headed families. To assess the impacts of incarceration and/or reforms on family structure and stability, different data sets, as well as a variety of statistical methods were used. In using these different data sets and statistical measures, three research models were designed to test the hypothesis. In Module A, the flow of inmates within a specific geographic area was examined to see how it contributed to individual probabilities of family disruption. The analysis for Module A merged the Urban Institute’s Underclass Database (UDB), the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) data set, and the National Correctional Reporting Program (NCRP) data set for counties. Module B was interested in whether sentencing reforms affected mate availability and/or female family headship. It examined the effects of statewide incarceration and sentencing changes on marriage markets and family structure. Lastly, Module C focused on a single State that had undergone major and puntatively successful sentencing reform. This analysis looked at the State of Minnesota and interviewed a random sample of 500 inmates about their family backgrounds, children, and marital relations. Results of the three modules supported parts of the underlying hypothesis that imprisonment increased female-headed families. However, there were no strong or significant indicators of the adverse impacts of sentencing reforms on family structures despite strong and consistent evidence that lower supplies of marriageable men were associated with higher incidences of female-headed families. Appendices, tables, and references
Main Term(s): Sentencing guidelines
Index Term(s): Family structure; Legislative impact; NIJ final report; NIJ grant-related documents; Sentencing reform; Sentencing/Sanctions; Single parent families
Note: Also Includes the Non-Technical Report Version.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.