CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Gilpin & Bekkerman on Impacts of Sentencing Guidelines on Disciplinary Disparities

Gregory Gilpin and Anton Bekkerman (Montana State University - Bozeman and Montana State University - Bozeman) have posted Can Equitable Punishment Be Mandated? Estimating Impacts of Sentencing Guidelines on Disciplinary Disparities on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This study investigates the role of disciplinary mandates on race-based punishment disparity, exploiting variation in the quantity and types of state-level discipline guidelines for students who commit serious offenses in U.S. public high schools. Estimation results indicate that schools with higher proportions of black or Hispanic students impose more severe punishments, but disparities are significantly dampened and fewer punishments are administered in states that legislate more serious offenses sentencing guidelines. Sentencing guidelines for less harmful misconduct, however, tend to increase race-based disciplinary disparities for serious offenses. These outcomes are important for assessing existing sentencing guidelines and effectively crafting future policies.

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