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Discrimination Revisited - An Exploration of Frontstage and Backstage Criminal Justice Decision Making

NCJ Number
Sociology and Social Research Volume: 69 Issue: 1 Dated: (October 1984) Pages: 90-108
T S Bynum; R Paternoster
Date Published
19 pages
While both the labeling and conflict perspectives suggest that more severe criminal sanctions are imposed on lower-class and minority defendants, prior research has not consistently revealed such disparity.
Most studies, however, have focused primarily on highly visible decisions. The authors argue that discrimination is more likely to be found in the backstage regions of criminal justice decision making. Focusing on decisions about sentencing to and release from prison, the present analysis suggests that although Native Americans have not been more severely treated at sentencing (a frontstage decision), they are less likely to be paroled (a backstage decision than similar non-Indian offenders. (Author abstract)