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NCJ Number: 50815 Find in a Library
Title: RACIAL AND CLASS FACTORS IN SENTENCING OF FIRST OFFENDERS
Journal: AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY  Volume:14  Issue:1  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1978)  Pages:58-61
Author(s): S MUGFORD; M GRONFORS
Corporate Author: Sociological Assoc of Australia and New Zealnd
University of Canterbury
Dept of Sociology
New Zealand
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Sociological Assoc of Australia and New Zealnd
Christchurch, New Zealand
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: THIS STUDY EXAMINES WHETHER MAORIS, IN NEW ZEALAND, RECEIVE DISPROPORTIONATELY HEAVIER SENTENCES THAN DO FIRST OFFENDERS OF EUROPEAN ANCESTRY.
Abstract: MAORIS ARE OVERREPRESENTED IN STATISTICS RELATING TO CRIMINAL CONVICTION AND IMPRISONMENT, AND THERE IS CONCERN AS TO WHETHER THIS REFLECTS A HIGHER RATE OF OFFENSES ACTUALLY COMMITTED OR EXCESSIVE CONCENTRATION ON THIS GROUP BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. IF IT CAN BE SHOWN THAT MAORIS RECEIVE MORE SEVERE SENTENCES FOR SIMILAR OFFENSES, THEN IT CAN BE CONCLUDED THAT RACIAL AND/OR SOCIAL BIASES ARE PRESENT IN THE SYSTEM. PROBATION OFFICERS WERE ISSUED QUESTIONNAIRES TO OBTAIN INDICES RATING THE SERIOUSNESS OF OFFENSES. A SAMPLE OF FIRST OFFENDER PROBATION REPORTS PREPARED IN JULY 1973 WERE EXAMINED FOR 137 EUROPEAN MALES AND 32 MAORI MALES IN RELATION TO THE INDICES. RESULTS SHOWED THAT IN THE CASE OF THE EUROPEANS, THERE IS A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE OFFENSE FOR WHICH THE INDIVIDUAL WAS CONVICTED AND THE SENTENCE. THIS RELATIONSHIP IS GREATLY REDUCED, HOWEVER, FOR THE MAORIS WHO RECEIVED HEAVIER SENTENCES FOR THE LESS SERIOUS OFFENSES. THEY DID NOT, HOWEVER, RECEIVE HEAVIER SENTENCES FOR THE MORE SERIOUS OFFENSES. THE DATA WERE REEXAMINED CONTROLLING FOR OCCUPATION, AND IT WAS FOUND THAT THE UNSKILLED LABOR CLASS WAS REPRESENTED OVERWHELMINGLY IN THE MAORI SAMPLE. IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT BOTH RACE AND SOCIAL CLASS AFFECT SENTENCING BUT OF THE TWO FACTORS, SOCIAL CLASS AS MEASURED BY OCCUPATION WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT. THE STUDY SAMPLE, HOWEVER, WAS SMALL, AND A LARGER STUDY IS RECOMMENDED. (KJM)
Index Term(s): Discrimination; Evaluative research; Minorities; New Zealand; Sentencing disparity
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50815

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