Abstract

Looking back, America has seen its fair share of differences among its population, so it should not come as a shock that sentencing disparities are a serious criminal justice issue in the United States. Each year, thousands of people are sent to Federal prisons where they receive sentences for crimes they have been convicted of committing. The United States Sentencing Commission publishes these results annually. No matter the number of persons entering the prison system on the federal level, the number of female offenders often remains about the same (8555 in 2000; 9451 in 2007; and 9302 in 2008). While it is illegal to openly discriminate against a defendant and give them a sentence based on his or her demographics, the laws are written in ways where discrimination can still be allowed. The current research examines the relationship between not only gender, but also looks to education, race, age, and the crime committed to explain this gap in sentencing. Methodology: The data for the current research are from the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC), an annual report comprised of details for every person who entered federal prison in the given year. The current research used data from the year 2016 and includes 67,660 cases. Findings: Findings are supportive of previous research. Whether or not a defendant will receive a sentence is influenced by gender, age, race, education, and offense type. Sex, race, and education also affected the length of the sentence received. Unlike previous studies, age did not appear to be significant when determining the length of a sentence.

Graduation Date

2018

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Corzine, Harold

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Sociology

Degree Program

Applied Sociology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0007087

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0007087

Language

English

Release Date

May 2018

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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