Sentencing reforms represent an important shift in the criminal justice system. Reforms' main purpose is the removal of judicial discretion by ensuring a relatively predetermined sentence. This study assesses the effects of reforms on shifts in the odds of imprisonment of Blacks and Hispanics within U.S. states from 1978 to 2005. The study has implications for both theory and policy. Theoretically, social chain theory suggests the law and order movement interacted with structural-procedural changes that led to an unintended consequence. Substantively, the results indicate significant increases in disparities for people of color, which is counter to the policies' stated goals.
- Sentences (Criminal procedure) -- Decision making -- Analysis,
- Sentences (Criminal procedure) -- Longitudinal studies,
- Mandatory sentences -- United States,
- Discrimination in criminal justice administration -- United States
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mark_harmon/4/