Thesis

Court ordered community service: Effects of sociodemographic factors on program completion

Court ordered community service is a severely under researched correctional option. Previous findings from the literature show that sociodemographic factors influence recidivism, offenders’ willingness to serve alternative sanctions, and the type of work order/sentence an offender receives. Therefore, this research was conducted to determine if sociodemographic factors affected an offender’s likelihood of completing a community service order. Secondary data collected from the Alternative Sentencing Program in Sacramento during the year 2008 was used to examine five factors that were likely to influence program completion. These factors included: gender, ethnicity/race, education, income, and age. A sample of 941 cases was drawn from the study population. Analysis indicated that sociodemographic factors have at least some effect on program completion. However, none of the relationships between the independent variables and the dependent variable were found to be significant. Despite the lack of significance the findings from this study still have important implications and can be used to aid practitioners in the implementation of these programs and assist judges in making more informed sentencing decisions.

Thesis (M.S., Criminal Justice) -- California State University, Sacramento, 2010.

Court ordered community service is a severely under researched correctional option. Previous findings from the literature show that sociodemographic factors influence recidivism, offenders’ willingness to serve alternative sanctions, and the type of work order/sentence an offender receives. Therefore, this research was conducted to determine if sociodemographic factors affected an offender’s likelihood of completing a community service order. Secondary data collected from the Alternative Sentencing Program in Sacramento during the year 2008 was used to examine five factors that were likely to influence program completion. These factors included: gender, ethnicity/race, education, income, and age. A sample of 941 cases was drawn from the study population. Analysis indicated that sociodemographic factors have at least some effect on program completion. However, none of the relationships between the independent variables and the dependent variable were found to be significant. Despite the lack of significance the findings from this study still have important implications and can be used to aid practitioners in the implementation of these programs and assist judges in making more informed sentencing decisions.

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