Saturday, August 11, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, August 11, 2007


NCJ 219111
Heath C. Hoffmann; George E. Dickinson; Chelsea L. Dunn
State Facilities for Women and Men: A Comparison of Communication and Visitation Policies
Corrections Compendium
Volume:32 Issue:1 Dated:January/February 2007 Pages:1-4, 251 to 260

This paper reports on the methodology and findings of a survey that compared inmate communication and visitation policies with family members and friends for male and female State prisons. The survey findings show apparently few major differences between male and female facilities in policies for inmate visitation, mail correspondence, and telephoning; however, there was a tilt toward less restrictive policies for women inmates. There was a discernible trend toward women inmates being allowed more visits each month, more open visitation policies, not having a correctional officer present during a visitation, being allowed to embrace visitors more often, being allowed more visitors at one time, being allowed more telephone calls, and having their calls monitored less. On the other hand, women were more likely to be required to pay for their mail postage than male inmates, and men were more likely to have access to conjugal visits and home furloughs. The next step is to determine how many U.S. prisons have adopted policies and programs as well as provided facilities that foster inmate parent-child interactions. Where such efforts exist, they must be evaluated in order to determine which among them have the greatest impact on inmates' adjustment to prison and postrelease success. The American Correctional Association's Directory of Correctional facilities (2004) was used to survey the warden/superintendent of each State-run maximum-security male and female adult correctional facility in the United States (n=292) between February and May 2005. Due to various conditions that prevented some facilities from complying with the survey's protocol, 193 facilities were ultimately included in the survey. Of these, 84 percent (n=162) returned completed surveys. Thirty-one of the prisons housed women only, 14 housed both men and women, and 117 housed only men. 1 note, 25 references

NCJ 219088
Allison T. Chappell; Scott R. Maggard
Applying Black's Theory of Law to Crack and Cocaine Dispositions
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Volume:51 Issue:3 Dated:June 2007 Pages:264 to 278

Using data from New York City, this study examined the influence of social control variables suggested by Donald Black (1976) on crack and powder cocaine dispositions. The results provide some support for Black's theory that the quantity of law applied in various contexts is related to five social characteristics that vary from setting to setting. The social variables are stratification (the unequal distribution of material living conditions); morphology (form and structure of a setting); culture (values, ideology, and morality); organization (how social life is organized); and alternative forms of social control (normative aspect of social life that defines right and wrong). Powder cocaine is known as the "White man's drug," whereas crack cocaine became known as a drug of choice among poor minorities. This led to increased penalties (more law) for those who were caught using crack, even though crack and cocaine are essentially the same drug. It was clear throughout the analyses that minorities and those charged with crack offenses were more likely to receive harsher penalties in New York City than those charged with offenses involving powder cocaine. The one departure from Black's theory was the finding that males received harsher penalties for both crack and powder cocaine use than females. Black would have expected females to receive harsher sentences because they departed further from conventional social expectations for women compared with men. Study data came from arrests by the New York City Police Department during a crackdown on cocaine-related crime in the early 1980s. A total of 9,975 powder cocaine arrests with case-outcome data were identified. In June 1986, the practice of marking arrest reports was expanded to include arrests that involved crack possession or sale. For 1986, there were 4,145 crack-related arrests with case outcome data identified. 3 tables and 47 references

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