Added: August 15, 2009 – Last updated: November 5, 2016


Authors: Ronet Bachman and Pheny Smith

Title: The Adjudication of Rape since Reforms

Subtitle: Examining the Probability of Conviction and Incarceration at the National and Three State Levels

Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review

Volume: 6

Issue: 4

Year: December 1992

Pages: 342-358

ISSN: 0887-4034 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1552-3586 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Prosecution: Laws


Link: SAGE Publications (Restricted Access)



Ronet Bachman, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware

Abstract: »This paper examines trends in the criminal justice system's handling of rape cases since the implementation of reforms both nationally and in three states: California, New York and Pennsylvania. While previous research has remained equivocal regarding the instrumental effects of rape law reforms, this study has documented the usefulness of more refined methodologies with which to address this issue. Included in these reformulations were more refined dependent measures of rape (age and gender specific); the inclusion in the analysis of equivalent trends for robbery to control for extraneous factors that may increase these adjudication outcomes for all violent crimes; and, finally, more liberally defined time periods which include data from the late eighties. This last reformulation is particularly important since original statutes in most states have undergone extensive interpretation based on recent appellate court decisions. When these methodological reformulations were made, results indicated that conviction rates for rape increased over and above increases observed for robbery in all three states. While rates of incarceration also increased in all states for rape, only in Pennsylvania and at the national level did these increases exceed those observed for robbery. While proponents of rape law reform would not necessarily characterize the picture painted by these findings as a perfect one, this research demonstrates the importance of utilizing more refined measures and methodologies with which to examine trends in the adjudication of rape since reforms.« (Source: Criminal Justice Policy Review)


  Introduction (p. 343)
  Methods (p. 347)
    Data Sources (p. 347)
  Dependent Variables (p. 348)
    State Level Probability of Conviction and Incarceration (p. 348)
    National Level Probability of Going to Prison (p. 349)
  Results (p. 349)
    State Level Analysis (p. 349)
    National Level Probability of Prison (p. 353)
  Discussion (p. 354)
  Notes (p. 355)
  Bibliography (p. 357)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1964–80), History of the United States (1980–91) | Law: Laws regarding rape