Sunday, January 21, 2007

NCJRS Abstracts III

Finishing up the three-post run of recent abstracts from NCJRS on corrections sentencing research. I'll try to remember to check better than I have been, but feel free to go to their site on your own. Won't hurt my feelings. You may find things I didn't alert you to (a lot of stuff on police or juveniles, for example). Like I said, it's a great resource and one of the first places to go if/when people want policy based on evidence and not wish or ideology.

NCJ 216672
Lynn Langton
Low Self-Control and Parole Failure: An Assessment of Risk From a Theoretical Perspective
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume:34 Issue:5 Dated:September-October 2006 Pages:469 to 478

The study found that low self-control was significantly and positively related to parole failure; however, it was not the only variable that apparently had an impact on reoffending. Consistent with previous research, young parolees were more likely to violate parole, as were property/nonviolent offenders. First-time California Youth Authority admittees were more likely to have parole success. Low self-control did not have a significant impact on the length of time from release to parole failure. Study data were obtained from a sample of 4,146 juvenile offenders paroled by the California Youth Authority. The initial data collection was done from 1964 to 1965. The dependent variable was a measure of whether or not the offender successfully completed parole. Low self-control was measured with the self-control subscale of Gough's California Psychological Inventory. Control variables were the offender's age at time of sentencing, race, school grade, number of convictions, a violent offense, a first-time offense, and the number of months incarcerated. 3 tables and 28 references

NCJ 216674
Richard D. Hartley ; Sean Maddan ; Jeffery T. Walker
Sentencing Practices Under the Arkansas Sentencing Guideline Structure
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume:34 Issue:5 Dated:September-October 2006 Pages:493 to 506

The findings show that the variables that influenced prison sentences (the in/out decisions as well as the number of months imposed) did not necessarily influence jail sentences in the same way. This suggests that judges did not consider the same variables in deciding on jail and prison sentences. The strongest predictor of whether or not an offender was sentenced to prison was whether he/she was already under some form of court-ordered supervision. An offender on probation or parole was almost 13 times more likely to go to prison. The next strongest predictor of a prison sentence was the criminal history score; those with higher criminal-history scores were almost seven times more likely to receive a prison sentence. Little, if any, disparity was found in the judge's decision to imprison or jail a defendant. The length of the prison or jail sentence, however, suggests some disparities. Data were collected from the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts and the Arkansas Sentencing Commission. The cases examined were processed from 2000 through 2002. Sentencing guidelines have been in effect since 1994. The dependent variables were the decision to imprison the defendant, the decision to jail the defendant, the length of the prison term in months, and the length of the jail term in months. Independent variables included legally relevant variables, such as the offender's criminal history, whether the charged offense was a felony, and whether the offense was a violent crime. Other independent variables were related to defendant characteristics (race, sex, age, and region). 6 tables and 37 references

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