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NCJ Number: 115343 Find in a Library
Title: Females Under the Law: 'Protected' but Unequal (From Criminal Justice System and Women, P 61-75, 1982, Barbara Raffel Price and Natalie J Sokoloff, eds. -- See NCJ-115340)
Author(s): G Armstrong
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
New York, NY 10014
Sale Source: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
435 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Special sentencing statutes, sentencing judges, and society's conception of the female sex role all are responsible for the unjust sentencing of women.
Abstract: The disparate sentences received by male and female offenders found guilty of the same crime provide the most blatant evidence of this unequal treatment. Some States have special sentencing statutes, such as Pennsylvania's Muncy Act, that were enacted at the turn of the century to 'protect' women. Under such statutes the length of a woman's sentence is determined not by the judge but by the correctional authority within limits set by the statute. The result is denial of equal protection for women and often a longer sentence than would have been served by a male for the same offense. Discrimination in favor of female offenders often occurs when judges have discretionary power. Erroneously, many judges believe that women are better able than men to reform themselves and that they seldom possess pervasive criminal tendencies. Further, the juvenile justice system enforces society's double standard of morality: Most female delinquency involves a violation of sex-role expectations and is more severely punished than male delinquency. Sexually discriminatory laws and unequal application of sexually neutral statutes forces females to conform to traditional sex-role expectations and may, in some cases, also discriminate against males. Such inconsistencies in the law and the justice system could be eliminated by passage of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment. 75 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Sentencing disparity
Index Term(s): Male female offender comparisons; Sex discrimination; Societal norms
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. From Crime and Delinquency, April 1977, P 109-120
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