News and publications

Justice Policy Journal - Volume 15, Number 2 – Fall, 2018


Disproportionate Minority Presence on U.S. Sex Offender Registries

By: Alissa R. Ackerman and Meghan Sacks

U.S. crime policies of the last thirty years have exerted a disproportionate impact on minority offenders. However, registered minority sex offenders are one segment of this population who have received very little attention in empirical research. The current study is an attempt to fill in this gap. In doing so, we utilized publicly available RSO data, collected from each U.S. state and territory from 2012 to 2014, culminating in 488,260 unique RSOs from fifty-four U.S. territories. We examined this robust dataset and found that in every state except Michigan, African Americans have a higher rate of inclusion on sex offender registries. However, we also found that the southern states have the least disparate rates of inclusion.


The Determinants of Pretrial Detention and Its Effect on Conviction and Sentencing Outcomes

By: Mark Gius

The purpose of the present study is to ascertain the determinants of pretrial detention and the effects of pretrial detention on conviction and sentencing outcomes. Regarding the determinants of pretrial detention, prior research has found that the type of attorney used may affect the likelihood of pretrial detention. Regarding the effects of pretrial detention on conviction and sentencing outcomes, prior research has found that pretrial detention increases the likelihood of a conviction and the severity of the sentence. The present study differs from prior research in several ways.  First, this study will use data from 25 states for the period 1992-2009. This is one of the largest data sets ever used to study the determinants and effects of pretrial detention on conviction and sentencing outcomes.  Second, a two-stage least squares (2SLS) model will be used to estimate the likelihood of conviction and imprisonment. Results of the present study indicate that pretrial detention increases the probability of both being convicted and being imprisoned.  Furthermore, the present study found that those defendants who used public defenders or assigned attorneys were much more likely to be detained pretrial than those defendants who had retained private counsel. 


Examining the Gendered Effects of Intensive Supervision Programs on Juvenile Probation Outcomes

By: Darren R. Beneby

This study evaluated gender and the effect of intensive supervision programs (ISPs) on juvenile probation outcomes. Logistic regression and propensity score matching analysis was conducted using a sample of 10,478 juvenile probationers supervised by a large juvenile probation agency located in a Southwestern state between 2010 and 2013. Results of propensity score matching analyses suggested that being in the intensive supervision program increased the likelihood of boy and girl probationers being found to have violated probation and being found to have committed a new offense. Results also showed that the criminogenic effect of intensive supervision programs on probation outcomes was stronger for boys than girls. Policy and theoretical implications are discussed.


Use of Research Evidence by Criminal Justice Professionals

By: Lee Michael Johnson et al.

This essay reviews and critiques the current state of use of research evidence in policymaking and practice by criminal justice professionals. It focuses on the direct use of research by criminal justice administrators and practitioners in the field. While some policies and practices are mandated by laws or funding sources, field professionals have much discretion in determining the policies, programs, and practices of their agencies or organizations. Thus, understanding how they acquire, view, and use (or not use) research evidence is essential for improving evidence-based policymaking and practice and collaboration with academicians. The authors review and analyze research and other literature to 1) explain the existence and persistence of a research-practice gap in criminal justice 2) recommend strategies for increasing the use of research evidence in decision-making and 3) suggest future research needed to understand and promote use of research by criminal justice professionals.


Sections