While there is nearly unanimous agreement among social scientists that the defendant's prior record is important in explaining the sentence imposed on the defendant, there is little agreement on the “best” or most appropriate measure of prior record to use in examining sentence disparity. This study provides an assessment of the utility of 11 commonly used measures of prior record. We find that the various measures are not interrelated highly and thus necessarily are not interchangeable. We also find that the measures of prior record affect sentence severity differently and that the relationships between these measures and sentence severity varies for black and white defendants.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|State||Published - May 1984|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine