How are punishment decisions made?

October 11, 2017


Faculty affiliate, Mindy Bradley, recently published a book with Jeffrey T. Ulmer on which they are the editors. The book is entitled, Handbook on Punishment Decisions: Locations of Disparity.


  • Brings original research on emerging topics in sentencing and corrections from international experts to a global audience of criminology and public policy scholars and advanced students

  • Showcases the work of leading criminologists on sentencing decisions that will yield the best outcomes

  • Covers tensions common to all societies between effective punishments and high costs of penal institutions, and of crime, to governments and individuals

  • Brings fresh scholarship to corrections researchers as well as practitioners and policy makers

  • Ideal for use in graduate-level courses in corrections


Handbook on Punishment Decisions: Locations of Disparity provides a comprehensive assessment of the current knowledge on sites of disparity in punishment decision-making. This collection of essays and reports of original research defines disparity broadly to include the intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, age, citizenship/immigration status, and socioeconomic status, and it examines dimensions such as how pretrial or guilty plea processes shape exposure to punishment, how different types of sentencing decisions and/or policy structures (sentencing guidelines, mandatory minimums, risk assessment tools) might shape and condition disparity, and how post-sentencing decisions involving probation and parole contribute to inequalities. The sixteen contributions pull together what we know and what we don’t about punishment decision-making and plow new ground for further advances in the field.


The ASC Division on Corrections & Sentencing Handbook Series publishes volumes on topics ranging from violence risk assessment to specialty courts for drug users, veterans, or people with mental illness. Each thematic volume focuses on a single topical issue that intersects with corrections and sentencing research.


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