CrimProf Blog

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

Friday, March 9, 2018

Chatsverykove & Volkov on The "Family Factor" in Sentencing

Iryna Chatsverykova and Vadim Volkov (European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP) and European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP)) have posted Does the 'Family Factor' Really Matter? Sentencing Offenders in Domestic and Non-Domestic Violence Cases in Russia on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
While research on criminal sentencing has been an active field of inquiry for decades, social disparities in sentencing of domestic and non-domestic violent offenders remain understudied. Using court data on defendants persecuted in Russia in 2010-2013 enriched with information from verdict texts, we examine the effects of diverse socio-demographic characteristics and victim-offender relationship on both incarceration and sentence length decisions in violent cases, controlling for a range of legal factors. Gender, marital, parental, and employment statuses, educational background, criminal record and some other social characteristics differ significantly among offenders convicted of intimate partner violence, child-parent abuse, or non-domestic violence. Offenders sentenced for child-parent violence have a higher probability to be incarcerated than other violent offenders, while the probability of incarceration does not differ significantly for perpetrators of intimate partner violence compared to non-domestic violent offenders. Moreover, partner abusers receive even shorter sentences than non-domestic violent offenders. This effect sustains only for female offenders but not male offenders when the interaction of gender and the victim-offender relationship is included. Marriage and employment usually decrease sentence severity. However, victim-offender relationship significantly moderates the effects. Partner abusers receive no discount in sentence length for being officially married and are granted with less leniency when they are employed than offenders in non-domestic violence cases.

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