Race/ethnicity and sentencing outcomes among drug offenders in North Carolina

Pauline K. Brennan, Cassia Spohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Findings from previous studies suggest that Blacks and Hispanics are likely to receive more punitive sentences than Whites, but overall results are far from conclusive and few examinations contain analyses of Black versus Hispanic differences. In the current study, sentencing outcomes were examined for a random sample of felony drug offenders convicted during calendar year 2000 in a large urban jurisdiction in North Carolina. The analysis focused on Black-White, Hispanic-White, and Hispanic-Black differences. White offenders received less severe punishments than either Blacks or Hispanics; Hispanic offenders were particularly disadvantaged because they received harsher punishments relative to both Blacks and Whites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-398
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Drug offenders
  • Guidelines
  • Race and sentencing
  • Sentencing disparity
  • Sentencing options

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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