Citizenship, Legal Status, and Federal Sentencing Outcomes

Examining the Moderating Effects of Age, Gender, and Race/Ethnicity

Mercedes Valadez, Xia Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research has yet to fully investigate whether the effects of citizenship and legal status are moderated by age, gender, and race/ethnicity. This is a significant oversight because negative stereotypes of young, male, black, and Hispanic offenders may intensify overall negative perceptions for noncitizen and undocumented immigrant offenders. Using data from the United States Sentencing Commission for fiscal years 2006–2008, we investigate whether the effects of citizenship and legal status on sentencing outcomes are moderated by age, gender, and race/ethnicity. The results indicate that the effects of citizenship and legal status on incarceration decision, but not sentence length decision, are moderated by age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Further, young Hispanic male noncitizen and undocumented immigrant offenders are among the groups that have the greatest odds of being sentenced to prison. We discuss the implications of these findings and conclude with a discussion of future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-700
Number of pages31
JournalSociological Quarterly
Volume58
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017

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legal status
offender
citizenship
ethnicity
gender
immigrant
correctional institution
stereotype
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Keywords

  • Citizenship
  • legal status
  • sentencing disparity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Citizenship, Legal Status, and Federal Sentencing Outcomes : Examining the Moderating Effects of Age, Gender, and Race/Ethnicity. / Valadez, Mercedes; Wang, Xia.

In: Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 58, No. 4, 02.10.2017, p. 670-700.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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