skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 91774 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Role of the Extralegal Factors in Determining Criminal Case Disposition (From Research on Sentencing - The Search for Reform, P 129-183, 1983, Alfred Blumstein et al, ed. - See NCJ-91771)
Author(s): S Garber; S Klepper; D Nagin
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 55
Sponsoring Agency: National Academies Press
Washington, DC 20001
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

National Academies Press
500 Fifth Street, N.W.
Keck 360
Washington, DC 20001
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper demonstrates that the inclusion of legally relevant variables reduces correlations between case outcomes and the variables of race and socioeconomic status. It suggests that many inferences about the extent of discrimination may be erroneous and outlines structural modeling techniques as alternative research methods.
Abstract: A review of nine recent and influential empirical studies on discrimination in the criminal justice system notes that all suggest three factors as major influences in case processing: offense seriousness, quality of the evidence, and defendant's prior record. These researchers also found other legal and extralegal variables important at different stages and claimed the cumulative nature of extralegal factors placed black and lower status defendants at a considerable disadvantage by the time they reached the sentencing stage. The paper discusses problems associated with measurement of the key determinants that may obscure the true extent of discrimination. Alternative interpretations of results reported in the literature demonstrate the import of these statistical issues. The authors argue that better measurement of these determinants is not promising and present a structural equation model of nine different decisions affecting the criminal justice process which takes explicit account of measurement difficulties. The paper discusses the estimability of the model's parameters and how it helps efforts to obtain less ambiguous data summaries. Also explored are simulteneously addressing sample selection and measurement issues in future research and trade-offs in specifying alternative structural models of the criminal justice system. Equations, tables, footnotes, and 27 references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Discrimination; Dispositions; Modeling techniques; Research methods; Sentencing factors
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=91774

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.