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NCJ Number: 220807 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Influence of Crack Cocaine on the Likelihood of Incarceration for a Violent Offense: An Examination of a Prison Sample
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:18  Issue:4  Dated:December 2007  Pages:335-352
Author(s): Margaret E. Leigey; Ronet Bachman
Date Published: December 2007
Page Count: 18
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated whether offenders who were under the influence of crack cocaine at the time of their offenses had a greater probability of being incarcerated for violent offenses compared to offenders who were under the influence of powder cocaine.
Abstract: Supporting previous research findings, the results indicate that inmates who consumed alcohol prior to the commission of their offenses were significantly more likely to be incarcerated for a violent offense (52.9 percent) than those under the influence of either crack (24.7 percent) or powder cocaine (28.5 percent). The probability of serving time for a violent offense was approximately two times higher if the respondent was under the influence of alcohol compared to either crack or powder cocaine. Additional research is recommended to examine the differential effects of crack cocaine ingestion on violent behavior, and whether individuals under the influence of crack cocaine are more likely to engage in a certain type of criminality than individuals who are under the influence of other legal and illegal substances. In 1988, Congress passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act which increased criminal penalties for the possession and trafficking of illegal substances. The drug that received one of the harshest penalties was crack cocaine. According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, crack cocaine sentences were approximately 25 percent higher than powder cocaine sentences. The consequences of this policy are significant. Using a nationally representative sample of incarcerated offenders, the purpose of this research was to explore whether offenders who were under the influence of crack cocaine during the commission of their offenses were more likely to be incarcerated for violent offenses compared to those who were under the influence of powder cocaine. In addition to the total model, two separate race-specific models were examined to determine if there are factors that differentially affect the probability of committing a violent offense for African-Americans compared to Whites. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Drug Related Crime
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Black/White Crime Comparisons; Cocaine; Race-crime relationships; Violence; Violence causes; Violent offenders
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