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NCJ Number: 83873 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Negotiated and Adversarial Resolution of Criminal Cases - A Contingency Approach to Comparative Analysis - Final Report
Author(s): A R Matheny; P Richards; P Houlden
Corporate Author: University of Florida
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 86
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32601
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 79-NI-AX-0084
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: This report reviews existing empirical research on case processing, diagnoses the methodological and conceptual problems of that research, and suggests methodological improvement to advance case processing research.
Abstract: Two categories of existing empirical research, the microeconomic and organizational model of case processing, are discussed. The model's adequacy is assessed through multivariate analysis of case file and organizational data from five jurisdictions. It is concluded that the organizational model is a better descriptor of case processing, but that formidable conceptual and methodological obstacles limit both. Case data are not adequate to construct structural variables to relate to individual case and defendant variables. Furthermore, the organizational model cannot show a clear picture of consensus among participants in the case. The author attempted to break through these limitations by defining the organizational model through the use of a contingency theory of case processing. It focuses on the uncertainty confronting case processors in their disposition and sentencing decisions. The concept of 'normal crimes' was used to enhance the consistency and predictability of case processing. It is concluded that if normal crimes are in fact crucial to understanding case processing, then conventional methodologies are inadequate and must be augmented by alternative strategies such as case vignettes, comparative observational research, and aggregate data comparisons at the jurisdictional level.
Index Term(s): Dispositions; Statistical analysis
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