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Racial/Ethnic Differentials in Sentencing to Incarceration

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 29 Issue: 5 Dated: October 2012 Pages: 742-773
William D. Bales; Alex R. Piquero
Date Published
November 2012
32 pages
This article examines the disparity of minorities in the criminal justice system.
Few criminological topics are as controversial as the relationships between race, ethnicity, crime, and criminal justice outcomesespecially incarceration. This paper assesses whether Blacks and Hispanics are disadvantaged at the sentencing phase of the justice system and whether the findings depend on the use of traditional regression-based methods to control for legally relevant variables vs. the use of precision matching methods, which attend to potential sample selection bias that occurs when there are not exact matches for those sentenced to incarceration and non-incarceration. Analysis of the population of Florida offenders from 1994 to 2006 using both methodologies indicates that Black offenders continue to be disproportionately incarcerated compared to White or Hispanic offenders, and that Hispanic offenders were slightly more likely than White offenders to be incarcerated. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.