On the use of the total incarceration variable in sentencing research

David Holleran, Cassia Spohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study calls into question the use of the total incarceration response variable incorporated into sentencing studies over the past 30 years. Specifically, using data from the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing (PCS), it argues - and reveals - that prison and jail represent two distinct institutions, and that the judge's decision on disposition should take that factor into account. It recommends that researchers should therefore reconsider use of the total incarceration variable, which combines prison and jail into a single response category.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-240
Number of pages30
JournalCriminology
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Measurement
  • Sentencing outcomes
  • Total incarceration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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