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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69978 Find in a Library
Title: Car Thieves - Sentencing Patterns in Massachusetts, 1975-1978
Author(s): M B Roy; M M Strout
Corporate Author: Massachusetts Commissioner of Probation
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 20
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
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This Massachusetts study analyzed the patterns of sentencing for car thieves in the State from 1975-1978.
Abstract: Massachusetts has acquired a national reputation for its high rate of stolen cars, and the Massachusetts legislature recently passed legislation to impose stricter penalties for automobile theft. This study was designed to provide information on sentencing patters of car thieves in order to develop base line data for a future assessment of the impact of the new legislation. Patterns of sentencing were analyzed for 459 defendants convicted of stolen car offenses between 1975 and 1978. Juveniles accounted for 26 percent of the adjudicated car thieves, while young adults (17-25 years) accounted for 64 percent and adults accounted for 10 percent. Nearly 25 percent of the convicted care thieves in the study were incarcerated, while 66 percent were supervised by probation officers and 9 percent had their cases filed or were fined. The incarceration rate was somewhat higher for older adults, and probation supervision was highest among juveniles. The study found that nearly one-third of the convicted car thieves were repeat offenders and had a previous conviction for stolen car crime. Nearly 38 percent of repeat offenders were sentenced to incarceration. The average sentence for those incarcerated for larceny was 15 months; for use of a motor vehicle without authority. The average sentence was 7 months. Approximately one half the adjudicated car thieves were charged with additional crimes. Results of the study will be used to compare the sentencing patterns for convicted car thieves before and after the implementation of the new sentencing legislation. Tabular data are included.
Index Term(s): Massachusetts; Motor Vehicle Theft; Sentencing reform; Sentencing/Sanctions
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