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The Contextual Significance of Courtroom Workgroup Racial Diversity to Criminal Case Outcomes

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $75,523)

This study considers how ethnoracial diversity in federal court workgroups relates to court contextual differences in criminal case outcomes, and particularly disparities in sentencing. The study has two components. Administrative offices for each of the 92 federal districts will be surveyed to gather data on the demographics of federal court workgroups ' consisting of judges, court clerks, federal prosecutors, federal public defenders, and federal probation officers ' and statistically analyze how variable levels of workgroup diversity relate to district-level differences in case outcomes. To facilitate interpretation of this court contextual affect, workgroup members will be interviewed in one federal court, exploring perceptions and experiences regarding the substantive and symbolic significance of workgroup diversity to the organization of decision-making generally, and racial equity in case processing especially. This project will provide a foundation for a broader initiative to understand the significance of ethnoracial diversity in criminal justice administration to the deliberation and application of justice. Government efforts to increase ethnoracial diversity in justice-related occupations can be valuably informed by new research on the meaning and social organizational significance of a representative justice workforce. ca/ncf
Date Created: July 4, 2006