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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 122330 Find in a Library
Title: Punishment and Social Structure at the State Level: A Cross-Sectional Comparison of 1970 and 1980
Journal: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:27  Issue:1  Dated:(February 1990)  Pages:52-78
Author(s): R J Michalowski; M A Pearson
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 27
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The theories of fiscal constraint and penal discipline have been used in much of the sociological analysis concerning the relationship between punishment and social structure. They hold, respectively, that levels of imprisonment are sensitive to levels of available public revenue and that the relationship between imprisonment and unemployment is independent of crime rates.
Abstract: This study uses a cross-sectional analysis to test the two propositions, controlling for region, crime, race, and urbanization, across all 50 States in 1970 and 1980. Contrary to the theories, the findings suggest that neither public revenue nor unemployment rates significantly influenced the variations in interstate imprisonment rates. The most significant predictor of imprisonment seems to be the distinction between southern and non-southern States. In non-southern States, only the rate of violent crime and the proportion of black males in the population were significantly related with variations in imprisonment rates, although the relationship between revenue and imprisonment did strengthen between 1970 and 1980. 5 tables, 4 notes, 59 references. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Employment-crime relationships; Prison costs
Index Term(s): Crime Rate; Society-crime relationships; State-by-state analyses
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