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Oct 04, 1999 08:35 PM
by kymsmith

Dear Bart and all:

Well, seems both my criminal justice professor and I may be wrong about the
sentencing length of women.  This 1994 report (I'm unable to locate a more
current one) may show my assertion that women serve 15 years longer for
homicide is in error.  He did state that, according to the Justice
Department, "women who kill their husbands get, on average, 15 years longer
prison time than men who kill their wives." I'm not super sure that this
study addresses that specific topic.  (I am curious about length of time
women serve before being paroled compared to men's times served before
parole)  Wonder what he will say when I present this to him.  Do you think
he will commend me for double-checking his statement (thanks to Bart) or
present me with an "I'll teach you to doubt my word" grade?  Hmmmmm.

I hate it when this happens. . ..


Women in Prison

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Bureau of Justice Statistics

Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin
Women in Prison

Full text with tables available from:
Bureau of Justice Statistics Clearinghouse
Box 179
Annapolis Junction, MD. 20701-0179
FAX Number (for report orders and mail list signup only):

March 1994

Sentence length

Overall, female prisoners had shorter maximum sentences than
men. Half of the women had a maximum sentence of 60 months or
less, while half of the men had a sentence of 120 months or
less.  Excluding sentences to life or death, women in prison
had received sentences that, on average, were 48 months
shorter than those of men (mean sentences of 105 and 153,
respectively).  An estimated 7% of the women and 9% of the men
received sentences to life or death.

Maximum                  Percent  of  inmates
sentence  length         Female         Male

Less than 36 months       24.2%         12.4%
36-59                     18.7          15.0
60-119                    20.5          22.3
120-179                   11.9          13.2
180 or more               17.7          27.9
Life/death                 7.0           9.2

The differences in sentence length are, in part, the result of
variation in the distribution of offenses among female and
male inmates.  Women were more likely than men to be in prison
for drug and property offenses, which had shorter average
sentences than violent offenses.

For each category of offense, women received shorter average
maximum sentences than men.  For property offenses, female
prisoners had a mean sentence 42 months shorter than men; for
drug offenses, 18 months shorter; and for violent offenses, 39
months shorter.

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