Persistent Offender Law: Racial Disparity, Patterned Offenses, and Unintended Effects


Given increasingly tough crime control policy trends in the US, Rodriguez (administration of justice, Arizona State U. West) studied the theoretical context and consequences of Washington State's Persistent Offender Accountability Act from 1993-97, one of many state and a Federal "three strikes" laws. She found some but not consistent race/ethnicity disparity in sentencing chronic offenders of serious crimes. Interviews with courtroom personnel yielded much uncertainty about the law's impact on crime. Data tables and the interview questions are appended. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

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