The effects of gender, family status, and race on sentencing decisions
Article first published online: 27 OCT 2009
Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Special Issue: Current Directions
Volume 28, Issue 3, pages 378–395, May/June 2010
How to Cite
Freiburger, T. L. (2010), The effects of gender, family status, and race on sentencing decisions. Behav. Sci. Law, 28: 378–395. doi: 10.1002/bsl.901
- Issue published online: 25 MAY 2010
- Article first published online: 27 OCT 2009
- School of Graduate Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
This study sought to determine the effects of family role, gender, and race on judges' sentencing decisions. To assess these effects, factorial surveys were sent to 360 Court of Common Plea judges who presided over criminal court cases in the state. Survey administration resulted in a 51% response rate. The findings indicate that defendants who were depicted as performing caretaker roles had a significantly decreased likelihood of incarceration. Further analysis found that the reduction in likelihood of incarceration for being a caretaker was larger for males than for females. Examination of the interaction of familial role with race found that familial role equally reduced the likelihood of incarceration for black and white females. Familial responsibility, however, resulted in a significantly greater decrease in likelihood of incarceration for black men than for white men. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.