Incarceration; criminal justice; inmates; prison misconduct; racial disparities
With the various studies that point to racial disparities at different levels of the United States' criminal justice system, it is necessary to uncover all places within the system where racial disparities might exist. Understanding that Black inmates are disproportionately represented within the prison system led to the hypothesis that Black inmates receive harsher punishments than White inmates when they violate a rule while in prison. A cross-sectional study, "Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2004," which was available through ICPSR, was used in order to test the hypothesis. The data were collected from October 2003 through May 2004. For the current study, only inmates who had committed armed robbery, aggravated assault, or murder were in the sample. After the modification of the variables comprised of race, rule violations, and punishment type, the sample size was 652. First, an OLS regression was used in three models, which showed that major rule violations had a significant effect on the type of punishment an inmate received, but race did not. Second, age groups were employed to run an OLS regression within each of the four age groups. This revealed that major rule violations had a significant effect on the type of punishment an inmate received in four of the age groups, but race was not significant in any of the models. Implications and possible explanations regarding these findings are discussed.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
King, Sarah, "The Disobedient Prisoner: A Racial Comparison of the Level of Punishment Prescribed to Inmates for Rule Violations" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 686.