Assessing blameworthiness and assigning punishment: Theoretical perspectives on judicial decision making

Paula M. Kautt, Cassia C. Spohn

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    1 Scopus citations


    This chapter examines the causes of correctional spending. It compares the dominant, mainstream political account of spending on corrections that varies with two less popular explanations for state spending on punishment. The chapter focuses on correctional expenditures in the mid-1980s towards the end of the period. It provides good institutional data that are not available at other periods. The chapter considers the role of technical, political, and cultural factors that determines the level of resources available for corrections in the fifty states. The correctional sector is composed of focal organizations, such as state correctional departments and institutional environments. The institutional literature relies on professionalization than unionization, as an institutionalizing force. The final structural variable is the size of the state corrections bureaucracy, measured as number of employees in state correctional agencies. The chapter discusses the crime rate that refers to the index crime rate of the state for 1985. States with higher crime rates has greater demand for correctional resources.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationCriminal Justice Theory
    Subtitle of host publicationExplaining the Nature and Behavior of Criminal Justice
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages31
    ISBN (Electronic)9781134706112
    ISBN (Print)9780415715188
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)


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