Gender and Sentencing in Florida

Rhonda R. Dobbs, Florida State University
Ted Chiricos, Florida State University

Women comprise the fastest growing population of offenders sentenced to prison. Many criminologists have contended that this increase in the population of incarcerated women is due primarily to changes in criminal justice policies, rather than to changes in the criminal involvement of women. They contend, for example, that the leniency or chivalry once afforded women in sentencing is no longer as prevalent as it once was. In particular, it is argued that the move away from indeterminate to determinate sentencing structures has served to equalize the treatment of men and women, thereby leading to a more pronounced increase in the incarceration of women compared to men. The present study examines the impact of Florida's move from an indeterminate to a more determinate sentencing model on sentencing outcomes for female offenders compared to male offenders.

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Updated 05/20/2006