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Misdemeanor Courts and the Choice of Sanctions - A Comparative View

NCJ Number
Justice System Journal Volume: 8 Issue: 2 Dated: (Summer 1983) Pages: 199-221
Date Published
23 pages
Unlike felony courts, misdemeanor courts have the opportunity -- by virtue of the less serious cases before them -- to experiment with a wide variety of sanctions. This article examines the frequency of utilization of different sanctions in four misdemeanor courts, and through multivariate analysis, the factors associated with the choice of sanctions.
Our findings show that (1) fines and other economic sanctions prevail in all four courts, and (2) type of offense is the single most important factor accounting for variation in the choice of sanctions. The contributing influence of the judge varies sharply across the four courts, depending upon such factors as community size, judicial election politics, and strength of the prosecutor's office. (Publisher abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 1983