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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 147719 Find in a Library
Journal: American Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:17  Issue:1  Dated:(1992)  Pages:19-38
Author(s): T M Arvanites
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 20
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on conflict theory, this study examined the influence of extralegal variables, including race, poverty rates, and unemployment, on the incarceration rate in the U.S.
Abstract: Crime data for all 50 States and the District of Columbia were extracted from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, and incarceration rates were based on prison censuses, which represent an accurate indicator of the States' actual level of incarceration. The results provide support for the conflict view that racially dissimilar populations exert a positive effect on the level of incarceration when controlling for crime. The effect of minority populations on incarceration rates increased during the 1980's, while the impact of crime decreased. However, there was no support for the hypothesis that unemployment is correlated to imprisonment rates. The findings show that the level of crime is not the most important factor in explaining interstate variations in the level of imprisonment. Factors that may explain the variance include prison capacity, a belief that offenders are not punished harshly enough, and societal intolerance of crimes committed by minority offenders. 4 tables and 41 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Conflict theory; Corrections; Crime rate studies; Incarceration; Minorities
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