Familial-Based Justice: Examining Race Differences in Sentencing Among Female Offenders

Melissa A. Logue, Pennsylvania State University

The present study addresses Daly's (1989) theory of familial-based justice as an explanation for gender differences in sentencing. Using the 1997 Survey of Inmates in state and Fedeal Correctional Facilities, I examine racial differences in women's length of imprisonment based on the nature of their social ties (i.e., parent, children, other relatives, etc.) and their prior involvement with the criminal justice system. Specifically, I address three issues: (1) whether familied defendants will be treated more leniently than non-familied defendants, (2) whether race leads to differential treatment for familied defendants based on the nature of their social ties, and (3) the extent to which victim characteristics influence the effect of defendant's social ties on their dispositional outcomes.

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Updated 05/20/2006