Wednesday, May 12, 2010

iAbstract: Minority threat effects on sentencing research study

Xia WangContact Information and Daniel P. MearsContact Information

(1) School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University, 411 N Central Ave, Suite 600, MC: 4420, Phoenix, AZ 85004-0685, USA
(2) College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida State University, 634 West Call Street, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1127, USA

Published online: 23 September 2009

Prior studies of criminal sanctioning have focused almost exclusively on individual-level predictors of sentencing outcomes. However, in recent years, scholars have begun to include social context in their research. Building off of this work—and heeding calls for testing the racial and ethnic minority threat perspective within a multilevel framework and for separating prison and jail sentences as distinct outcomes—this paper examines different dimensions of minority threat and explores whether they exert differential effects on prison versus jail sentences. The findings provide support for the racial threat perspective, and less support for the ethnic threat perspective. They also underscore the importance of testing for non-linear threat effects and for separating jail and prison sentences as distinct outcomes. We discuss the findings and their implications for theory, research, and policy.

Keywords  Minority threat effects - Sentencing

Contact InformationXia Wang (Corresponding author)

Contact InformationDaniel P. Mears

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Kevin McGrew PhD
Educational Psychologist 
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