Although gender stereotypes have historically worked against women, they have advanced key benefited women, particularly in sentencing during criminal proceedings. This implies that women generally receive shorter sentences than men for similar crimes. Additionally, courts are less likely to incarcerate a female offender than a male culprit. However, women who violate the gender role anticipations of society do not receive preferential treatment. In this regard, there is an influence of gender bias in the delivery of convictions, which arguably explains the conspicuously reduced numbers of women on death row, despite committing severe felons.
According to Beeby et al. and Nowacki and Windsong, male offenders, on average, receive 63% longer sentences than women. Additionally, female convicts are twice as likely to avoid incarceration upon being found guilty than their male counterparts. Evidentiary, these statistics illustrate the glaring disparities in treatment and sentencing outcomes in men and women. The occurrences are explained by various theoretical assumptions, including the perspective that women are unlikely to repeat committing crimes and the possible rational explanation for the felons they perpetrated.
Effect of Race on Women’s Punishment
Gender and race play a significant role in the issuing of sentences and punishment. As a result, female Latino and Black offenders receive harsher penalties than their white counterparts for the same crime. Notably, these disparities often accumulate across the various stages of the criminal justice system, ultimately resulting in the disproportionate imposition of punishment. This implies that race and gender are fundamental considerations in sentencing, reflecting systemic racial issues in the criminal justice system.
Factors Altering Sentencing Decisions for Women
Various factors have radically altered the sentencing decisions for women over the years. In this regard, women offenders have a relatively distinct guideline against which the judges base the imposed punishment. Among these factors is the remarkably dismal rate of female offenders, which suggests their natural disinclination to commit crimes. Additionally, women demonstrate genuine remorse and are highly likely to avoid repeat offending once released. Moreover, the judges are increasingly evaluating the nature of crimes committed by women, with statistics indicating that women are less likely to commit violent offenses. Other factors such as women’s specific needs in the criminal justice system and the offenders’ circumstances on the day the crime was committed to influencing the sentencing decision.