Regional Punitivity in America - 1990 Through 1997

Theodore N. Ferdinand, Southern Illinois Univ. at Carbondale

This paper presents statistics on the instruments of punishment (jails, prisons, sentences, probation, parolge) describing patterns in six New England states; nine Southern states; Texas; and six Rocky Mountain states. Results suggest that New England follows a policy of leniency toward minor and moderate offenders but severity toward chronic, dangerous offenders. The South and Texas follow a policy of severeity toward moderate offenders and chronic offerncers; and the Rocky Mountain states (except Utah and Colorado) follow a policy of leniency toward minor offenders but severity toward moderate and serious offenders. This research suggests several additonal lines of inquiry.

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Updated 05/20/2006