Date of Award

Summer 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Mona Danner

Committee Member

Randy Gainey

Committee Member

Otto C. Sampson

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 D74


Policy statements by the Sentencing Commission for the State of Washington emphasize that gender, race, and community ties are irrelevant to sentencing decisions. Based on prior sentencing practices, these policies carry the potential to incorporate unrecognized sentencing disparity practices into the proposed sentencing equality solution. Using Washington's sentencing data under current sentencing guideline structures, this research examined the sentencing outcomes with respect to sentences given outside the guidelines. This study was designed to address the research questions: What effect, if any, does gender have on exceptional sentence outcome? To what extent, if any, is race a factor in determining gender differences in exceptional sentence outcomes? To what extent, if any, does court location affect gender differences in sentencing? This study found sex and race effects in exceptional sentencing decisions. However, gender and race interaction effects and court location effects were not significant.


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