Penal Sanctioning in the United States: Explaining Cross-State Differences

Penal Sanctioning in the United States: Explaining Cross-State Differences
Frederique A. Laubepin
February 2015

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-768-2 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / xiv, 186 pages

Price   $69.00


Laubepin investigates differences in the scope of penal sanctioning in the American states over a thirty-year period. Her analyses replicate and expand prior research examining the determinants of incarceration rates, and explore whether this theoretical framework can be usefully applied to back-end sentencing (parole revocation). She finds that states have responded to similar policy problems with solutions shaped by local social, political, economic and cultural conditions. Not only are these dynamics historically contingent, but they also play out differently at the front and back ends of the sentencing system. Unlike prior research, this study provides weak support for the influence of political factors, but points to the importance of practices of civic engagement instead, suggesting that penal sanctioning is driven by "top down" policies as well as "bottom up" democratic processes.

About the Author

Frederique Laubepin is a research scholar for Instructional Resources & Development at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). She works on developing and testing data-driven instructional materials that enhance critical thinking and build students' quantitative literacy in post-secondary social science classrooms. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 2012.