SOME MISLEADING CONCEPTIONS IN SENTENCING RESEARCH: An Example and a Reformulation in the Juvenile Court

ALLAN HORWITZ, MICHAEL WASSERMAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most studies of sentencing practices in both adult and juvenile courts have compared the relative power to predict dispositions of “legal” variables, such as the seriousness of offense and previous arrest record, and “extralegal” variables, such as race and social class. It is suggested that this is a misleading model for research on the decision‐making process in juvenile courts. Instead, results presented here indicate that the juvenile court uses a model of substantive decision‐making oriented toward the character and social environment of offenders. Social background variables are found to be more important determinants of disposition than either “legal” or “extralegal” variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-424
Number of pages14
JournalCriminology
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1980

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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