Title

The Unintended Consequences of Sentencing Reforms: Using Social Chain Theory to Examine Racial Disparities in Female Imprisonment

Published In

Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice

Document Type

Citation

Publication Date

10-1-2017

Abstract

The current study uses social chain theory to examine the potential unintended effects of sentencing reforms on racial disparities in female imprisonment. Our analysis measures changes in the relative odds of Black to White female imprisonment using the Relative Rate Index (RRI) through panel regression modeling on 40 states from 1983 to 2008. Our final models indicate that four types of sentencing reforms had unintended perverse effects on racial disparities in prison admissions while Truth in Sentencing laws increased racial disparities in time-served. Eighteen combinations of sentencing reforms also significantly impacted disparities. Theoretical and policy implications are also discussed.

Locate the Document

http://doi.org/10.1080/15377938.2017.1385557

DOI

10.1080/15377938.2017.1385557

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