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NCJ Number: 220312 Find in a Library
Title: Labeling of Convicted Felons and Its Consequences for Recidivism
Journal: Criminology  Volume:45  Issue:3  Dated:August 2007  Pages:547-582
Author(s): Ted Chiricos; Kelle Barrick; William Bales; Stephanie Bontrager
Date Published: August 2007
Page Count: 36
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This Florida study assessed the influence on reoffending of having the "felony" label withheld from the records of convicted defendants sentenced to probation.
Abstract: Reconviction data for 95,919 men and women who were either adjudicated a "felon" or had this label withheld after conviction shows that those formally labeled as being guilty of a felony were significantly more likely to reoffend within 2 years than those who were not so labeled after their conviction. The labeling effects were stronger in influencing reoffending for women, Whites, and those who had no prior conviction before the age of 30. Second-level indicator of county characteristics (e.g., crime rates or concentrated socioeconomic disadvantage) had no significant effect on the adjudication/reoffending link. These findings reinforce those of recent research, which has shown that formal criminal and juvenile justice processing that culminates in a conviction and a formal criminal record as a felon is linked to a greater risk for reoffending compared with those whose case disposition is handled informally and without the attachment of negative labels. This study was made possible by a Florida law that allows judges to withhold adjudication of guilt for individuals who have been found guilty of a felony that involves a sentence of probation. These individuals lose none of their civil rights and may lawfully report on any document that they have not been convicted of a felony. This study assessed the consequences for reoffending of having adjudication applied or withheld for 71,548 male offenders and 24,371 female offenders found guilty of a felony and sentenced to probation in Florida between 2000 and 2002. The dependent variable, reoffending, was measured by whether a felony probationer was convicted of another felony within 2 years of being sentenced. 4 tables and 84 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Felony probation; Florida; Informal probation; Labeling theory; Recidivism causes; Recidivism statistics; State laws
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