CrimProf Blog

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

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Smith & Patella on Race and Misdemeanor Court Dispositions

Alisa Smith and Yanmei Jennifer Patella (University of Central Florida and University of Central Florida) have posted The Complexity of Race as a Predictor of Misdemeanor Court Dispositions in Florida's Counties on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This macro-level study of misdemeanor court disposition rates in Florida’s counties over a 16-year period lends some support racial diversity (percentage reporting black or African American and Some Other Race) as social threat resulting in increased misdemeanor disposition rates. The findings, here, however, suggest a more nuanced influence of racial diversity. Racial diversity influenced the rate of misdemeanor dispositions in counties with populations of black or African American and Mixed Race of 10 and 20% rather than in counties with smaller or larger percentages of racial diversity. As such, future research should focus on distilling the influence of diversity on perceptions of social threat as measured by increased use of law, i.e., arrests, prosecutions, and dispositions of misdemeanor crimes.

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