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NCJ Number: 67480 Find in a Library
Title: ARSON IN MASSACHUSETTS - SENTENCING PATTERNS, 1975-1978
Author(s): M B ROY; L HERBERT; R L COPELAND
Corporate Author: Massachusetts Commissioner of Probation
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: Massachusetts Commissioner of Probation
Boston, MA 02108
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE STUDY EXAMINES SENTENCING PATTERNS OF 107 DEFENDANTS CONVICTED OF ARSON IN MASSACHUSETTS BETWEEN 1975 AND 1978. IT PROVIDES INFORMATION ON HOW CURRENT LAWS ARE BEING APPLIED, BUT OFFERS NO CONCLUSIONS.
Abstract: DATA WERE DRAWN FROM 4,976 RECORDS GATHERED FOR A LARGER STUDY OF SENTENCING PATTERNS IN THE STATE. STRATIFIED RANDOM SAMPLING WAS UNDERTAKEN TO ASSURE NO ETHNIC BIAS. ARSON OFFENSES CONSTITUTED 1.8 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL 7,739 OFFENSES, WITH MANY OFFENDERS COMMITTING MULTIPLE OFFENSES. DATA REVEALED THAT A WIDE VARIETY OF SENTENCES BOTH THE MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM SENTENCES LEGISLATED FOR ARSON. VARIABLES FOUND TO AFFECT SENTENCING PATTERNS INCLUDED THE DEFENDANT'S AGE, PRIOR RECORD, AND SIMULTANEOUS CONVICTIONS. ARSON DEFENDANTS WERE PRIMARILY MALE (97 PERCENT), WITH JUVENILES (AGE 7-16) ACCOUNTING FOR 20 PERCENT OF THE SAMPLE, YOUNG ADULTS (AGE 17-25) ACCOUNTING FOR 49 PERCENT, AND OLDER ADULTS (OVER AGE 25) ACCOUNTING FOR 32 PERCENT. ONE-QUARTER OF THE DEFENDANTS CONVICTED OF ARSON WERE INCARCERATED, WHILE 71 PERCENT WERE SUPERVISED IN THE COMMUNITY. JUVENILES WERE USUALLY PLACED ON PROBATION; YOUNG ADULTS WERE MOST LIKELY TO RECEIVE SUSPENDED SENTENCES; AND OLDER ADULTS WERE USUALLY INCARCERATED. DEFENDANTS WITH NO PRIOR CONVICTIONS WERE MORE LIKELY TO BE PUT ON PROBATION; 53 PERCENT OF THE DEFENDANTS CONVICTED ON MULTIPLE CHARGES WERE MORE LIKELY TO BE INCARCERATED. A BIBLIOGRAPHY WITH 24 CITATIONS IS PROVIDED. (TAG)
Index Term(s): Arson; Arsonists; Corrections statistics; Massachusetts; Punishment; Sentencing disparity
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67480

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