skip navigation


Abstract Database

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

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also 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: 123638 Find in a Library
Title: I Fought the Law and the Law Won: A Report on Women and Disparate Sentencing in South Dakota
Journal: New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement  Volume:15  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1989)  Pages:177-201
Author(s): C Hutton; F Pommersheim; S Feimer
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 25
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study indicates that as a general proposition, South Dakota judges might discriminate on the basis of sex in sentencing, but probably do not discriminate on the basis of race (Native Americans compared to whites) in sentencing female offenders.
Abstract: Base line data were collected during the spring and summer of 1988 from records at the Springfield Correctional Facility, which houses all female inmates and some male inmates of the South Dakota State Penitentiary. The study population consisted of all women incarcerated from January 1, 1980, to July 1, 1988 (307 inmates). Punishment severity was defined as "the percentage of maximum penalty sentenced, minus years suspended." Inmate data covered conviction, offense, age, race, defense type, prior felonies, juvenile record, and employment status. On its face, the study suggests that judges do not discriminate based on race in sentencing female offenders, but the study does not focus on whether such discrimination may occur in individual cases and in decisionmaking other than sentencing. Regarding sexual discrimination in sentencing, the data indicate that women are likely to receive a less severe sentence than men for the same offense. 5 tables, 113 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Sentencing disparity
Index Term(s): American Indians; Racial discrimination; Sentencing factors; Sex discrimination; South Dakota
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.