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NCJ Number: 64252 Find in a Library
Title: INCIDENCE OR 'JUSTICE' (FROM COSTS OF CRIME, 1979, BY CHARLES M GRAY - SEE NCJ-64248)
Author(s): S L MYERS
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Type: Statistics
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE HYPOTHESIS THAT BLACKS BEAR A DISPROPORTIONATELY HEAVY BURDEN OF THE COSTS BORNE BY ALLEGED OFFENDERS IS EXAMINED USING ECONOMIC CONCEPTS IN ORDER TO SHOW THE ECONOMIC DISTINCTION BETWEEN EQUITY AND EFFICIENCY.
Abstract: BLACKS ARE OVERREPRESENTED AMONG THE ARRESTED, THE CONVICTED, THE INCARCERATED, AND THOSE LABELED CRIMINALS OR EX-OFFENDERS. ALTHOUGH BLACKS ACCOUNTED FOR ONLY ONE-TENTH OF THE 1967 U.S. POPULATION, THEY ACCOUNTED FOR ALMOST THREE-QUARTERS OF ALL ARRESTS. THREE TYPES OF EXPLANATIONS FOR THIS DISPARITY HAVE BEEN ADVANCED. SOME ECONOMISTS HAVE ARGUED THAT DISPARITIES IN LEGITIMATE OPPORTUNITIES ACCOUNT FOR THE HIGHER CRIME RATES AMONG BLACKS. A SECOND EXPLANATION IS BASED ON ALLEGED DISPARITIES IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. USE OF THE RESIDUAL DISCRIMINATION METHOD TO ANALYZE PAROLE SHOWED THAT ALTHOUGH RACIAL DISCRIMINATION MAY EXIST IN AT LEAST PART OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, THIS DISCRIMINATION DOES NOT EXPLAIN WHY BLACKS HAVE HIGHER CRIME RATES THAN WHITES. THE THIRD CLASS OF EXPLANATIONS FOR THE DISPARITY ASSERTS SIMPLY THAT BLACKS HAVE DIFFERENT TASTES OR PREFERENCES FROM THE REST OF THE POPULATION. EFFECTS OF TASTE AND PREFERENCES ON CRIME ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO MEASURE, HOWEVER. ALTHOUGH ALL THESE EXPLANATIONS ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE OR EXHAUSTIVE, THEY ARE NOT EMPIRICALLY REFUTABLE. THE DISAGREEMENT OVER WHETHER BLACKS BEAR AN EXCESSIVE BURDEN OF OFFENDER COSTS OF CRIME DEPENDS ULTIMATELY ON THE DEFINITION OF FAIRNESS OR EQUITY. ECONOMICS CAN STUDY COSTS, BUT OTHER DISCIPLINES ARE NEEDED TO CONSIDER WHETHER THE DISTRIBUTION OF COSTS IS FAIR. MOREOVER, THE DIFFERING INCIDENCE OF JUSTICE ARISING FROM ALTERNATIVE NOTIONS OF FAIRNESS OR EQUITY CAN HAVE SIGNIFICANT IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. TABLES, FOOTNOTES, AND A REFERENCE LIST ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--CFW)
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Crime costs; Offender statistics; Offenders; Psychiatry; Racial discrimination
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64252

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