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Gender Differences in Informal Processing - A Look at Charge Bargaining and Sentence Reduction in Washington, DC

NCJ Number
Journal of Research in Crime an Delinquency Volume: 22 Issue: 2 Dated: (May 1985) Pages: 101-133
J Figueira-McDonough
Date Published
32 pages

Because the most important court decisions are not regulated by due process, any study concerned with discrimination should examine those informal processes. This study focuses on the processes of charge bargaining and sentence reduction.


We identify criteria associated with these decisions and examine the differences in outcomes by gender of the defendant. It is found that dimensions of defense are the most important in determining a plea outcome favorable to the defendant, and that males fare better than females in this process. This suggests that policies stressing equalization of defense resources might be crucial in the regulation of plea bargaining. (Author abstract)