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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99509 Find in a Library
Title: 'Female Crimes' or Legal Labels? The Effect of Deviance Processing Agents on Our Understanding of Female Criminality (From Changing Roles of Women in the Criminal Justice System - Offenders, Victims, and Professionals, P 76-94, 1985, Imogene L Moyer, ed. - See NCJ-99505)
Author(s): C Kruttschnitt
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Waveland Press, Inc.
Long Grove, IL 60047
Sale Source: Waveland Press, Inc.
4180 IL Route 83
Suite 101
Long Grove, IL 60047
United States of America
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Arrest and conviction data from 942 convicted females were analyzed to determine how factors other than the officially defined offense related to the ultimate offense on which the conviction was based.
Abstract: The data represented a stratified random sample of females convicted of assault, petty theft, forgery, and drug law violations and listed in a northern California probation department's files between 1971 and 1976. A substantial discrepancy was found between the offenses for which the women were arrested and those for which they were convicted. The visibility of the conduct involved, the legal system's priorities in prosecuting cases, and plea bargaining may all have contributed to this discrepancy. Analysis of conviction records showed that diverse behaviors were included in each of the offense categories except for petty theft. Whereas the petty theft offenders were generally young and committed their offenses against merchants, those convicted of other crimes had engaged in actions varying widely in seriousness and were sometimes accessories to others' actions. Assault victims were commonly known to the offenders, while forgery victims were generally strangers. Black women were more commonly convicted of crimes of violence, Hispanic American women of burglary, and white and Native American woman of fraud and forgery. Other aspects of women's social characteristics also appeared to be influential in the sanctioning decision. Official crime statistics are misleading in that they overlook many qualities of the crimes involved. Data tables, notes, and a list of 40 references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Criminal methods; Female crime patterns; Female offenders; Offense characteristics; Offense statistics
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