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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148467 Find in a Library
Title: Analytical and Aggregation Biases in Analysis of Imprisonment: Reconciling Discrepancies in Studies of Racial Disparity
Journal: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:31  Issue:2  Dated:(May 1994)  Pages:166-182
Author(s): R D Crutchfield; G S Bridges; S R Pitchford
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 17
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explores some of the methodological problems in previous research on racial disparities in imprisonment.
Abstract: Previous studies have frequently focused on single decisionmaking points in the criminal justice process, usually sentencing; focused on single jurisdictions; or used inappropriately aggregated jurisdictions. In this study, State-level data were collected on race-specific trends in imprisonment and arrests for violent crimes. Analysis revealed a great variation in racial patterns of imprisonment across the U.S. The complexity of this variation must be incorporated into research designs through the choice of appropriate levels of aggregation and through consideration of the substantial differences in criminal processing that exist across jurisdictions. These results support the argument that social contexts influence how courts and law enforcement agencies impose criminal sanctions. Future research should focus on identifying social and demographic conditions likely to promote racial inequality in punishment. 3 tables, 5 notes, and 19 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Racial discrimination; Research methods; Sentencing disparity
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