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NCJ Number: 68468 Find in a Library
Title: JUSTICE MIDWESTERN STYLE - A STUDY OF THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS IN A COUNTY CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Author(s): L A DOUGLASS
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 265
Sponsoring Agency: UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PROSECUTORIAL, JUDICIAL AND PROBATION LEVELS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCEDURE WERE STUDIED TO DETERMINE WHETHER CONFLICT THEORY, SYMBOLIC INTERACTION THEORY, OR ORGANIZATIONAL THEORY BEST EXPLAINS DECISIONMAKING IN THE U.S. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.
Abstract: DATA FROM 159 PRESENTENCE REPORTS FROM A MIDWESTERN COUNTY'S FELONY CASES WERE GROUPED ACCORDING TO THE VARIABLES OF THE THREE THEORIES. VARIABLES WHICH MEASURED THE CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE WERE RACE, SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, AND THE AGE OF THE OFFENDER. THE SYMBOLIC INTERACTION PERSPECTIVE WAS MEASURED BY VARIOUS BACKGROUND ASPECTS OF THE OFFENDER'S LIFE SUCH AS MARITAL STATUS, AND BY COURT SETTING VARIABLES. THE ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVE WAS DELINEATED BY VARIABLES MEASURING THE OFFENDER'S PAST AND PRESENT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND AFFECTING COURT AGENTS' DECISIONS. RESULTS INDICATED THAT, AT THE PROSECUTORIAL LEVEL OF THE JUDICIAL PROCESS, THE CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE VARIABLE OF THE RACE OF THE OFFENDER RELATED SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE SEVERITY OF THE PLEA BARGAINING AGREEMENT. AT THE PROBATION LEVEL, THE CONFLICT VARIABLES OF OFFENDERS' LEVEL OF INCOME, TYPE OF LEGAL REPRESENTATION, AND BOND STATUS ALL AFFECTED THE SEVERITY OF THE PROBATION OFFICER'S SENTENCING RECOMMENDATIONS. SYMBOLIC INTERACTION VARIABLES SUCH AS THE WORK RECORD, MILITARY DISCHARGE, CURRENT USE OF ALCOHOL, AND THE IDENTITY OF THE JUDGE WERE ALL PARTIALLY SUPPORTED. AT THE JUDICIAL STAGE OF THE DECISIONMAKING PROCESS, THE OFFENDER'S BOND STATUS WAS RELATED TO THE SEVERITY OF THE JUDGE'S DECISION. SOME SYMBOLIC INTERACTION VARIABLES WERE ALSO PARTIALLY SIGNIFICANT IN JUDICIAL DECISIONMAKING. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE DATA DO NOT SUPPORT THE HYPOTHESIS THAT THE DIFFERENTIAL PROCESSING OF CRIMINAL OFFENDERS CAN BE ADEQUATELY EXPLAINED BE ORGANIZATION THEORY. FUTURE RESEARCH INCORPORATING AN EXPANDED VERSION OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVE IS RECOMMENDED. SEVENTY-SEVEN REFERENCES, 68 TABLES, AND 16 FIGURES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Conflict theory; Judicial discretion; Organization studies; Presentence studies; Prosecutorial discretion; Psychological theories; Sentencing/Sanctions; Studies
Note: UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME - DOCTORAL DISSERTATION
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68468

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