The Complexity of Race as a Predictor of Misdemeanor Court Dispositions in Florida's Counties

40 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2017  

Alisa Smith

University of Central Florida

Yanmei Jennifer Patella

University of Central Florida

Date Written: June 29, 2017

Abstract

This macro-level study of misdemeanor court disposition rates in Florida’s counties over a 16-year period lends some support racial diversity (percentage reporting black or African American and Some Other Race) as social threat resulting in increased misdemeanor disposition rates. The findings, here, however, suggest a more nuanced influence of racial diversity. Racial diversity influenced the rate of misdemeanor dispositions in counties with populations of black or African American and Mixed Race of 10 and 20% rather than in counties with smaller or larger percentages of racial diversity. As such, future research should focus on distilling the influence of diversity on perceptions of social threat as measured by increased use of law, i.e., arrests, prosecutions, and dispositions of misdemeanor crimes.

Suggested Citation

Smith, Alisa and Patella, Yanmei Jennifer, The Complexity of Race as a Predictor of Misdemeanor Court Dispositions in Florida's Counties (June 29, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2995214

Alisa Smith (Contact Author)

University of Central Florida ( email )

4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL 32816-1400
United States

Yanmei Jennifer Patella

University of Central Florida ( email )

4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL 32816-1400
United States

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