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The Sexual Stratification Hypothesis: Is the Decision to Arrest Influenced by the Victim/Suspect Racial/Ethnic Dyad?

NCJ Number
253973
Date Published
2019
Length
24 pages
Author(s)
Eryn N. O'Neal; Laura O. Beckman; Cassia Spohn
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Publication Type
Research (Applied/Empirical), Report (Study/Research), Report (Grant Sponsored), Program/Project Description
Grant Number(s)
2009-WG-BX-009
Annotation
Using quantitative data on 655 sexual assault complaints that were reported to the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department (LASD) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 2008, this study examined the effect of the victim/suspect racial/ethnic dyad on the decision to arrest.
Abstract
The sexual stratification hypothesis suggests that criminal justice responses to sexual victimization will differ depending on the victim/suspect racial/ethnic dyad. Previous research examining the sexual stratification hypothesis has primarily focused on court processes, and the small body of literature examining arrest decisions is dated. There remains substantial opportunity for testing the sexual stratification hypothesis at response stages apart from the court level (i.e., arrest). The findings of the current study suggest that police consider the victim/suspect racial/ethnic dyad when making arrest decisions. In addition, victim characteristics, strength of evidence indicators, and measures of case factors predict the police decision to make an arrest. (publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: July 20, 2021