A Dollar or a Day: Sentencing Misdemeanants in New York State

This research estimates disparities in sentencing for 105,000 persons arrested for misdemeanor crimes and convicted of misdemeanor or violation offenses. Black and Hispanic defendants are categorized as minority defendants, and all other defendants are categorized as White. After controlling for dif...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Nelson, James F.
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
Published: 1994
In:Journal of research in crime and delinquency
Year: 1994, Volume: 31, Issue: 2, Pages: 183-201
Online Access: doi
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Availability in Tübingen:Present in Tübingen.
IFK: In: Z 31
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USA
Description
Summary:This research estimates disparities in sentencing for 105,000 persons arrested for misdemeanor crimes and convicted of misdemeanor or violation offenses. Black and Hispanic defendants are categorized as minority defendants, and all other defendants are categorized as White. After controlling for differences in arrest charges, prior criminal records, conviction charges, and county of processing, the analysis shows that Whites were sentenced to pay fines more often than minorities. Minorities without prior arrest records were sentenced to conditional discharge more often than Whites, and minorities with prior arrests were sentenced to jail more often than Whites. Minorities and Whites were sentenced to the same length of incarceration. In most counties, minorities were fined fewer dollars than Whites. The disparities suggest that judges lacked alternatives for sanctioning offenders who had prior criminal records and lacked resources needed to pay fines
ISSN:0022-4278