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The Impact of Aggravating and Mitigating Factors on the Sentence Severity of Sex Offenders

The Impact of Aggravating and Mitigating Factors on the Sentence Severity of Sex Offenders The aggravating and mitigating circumstances that contribute to increased, or decreased, sentence severity for sex offenders have largely been unexplored. Although previous studies have evaluated offending groups who have targeted adult-only, or children-only victims, the current study compares the sentencing outcomes of both offending groups. Using a sample of 519 federally sentenced sex offenders in the province of Quebec the current study explores the extent to which the Canadian criminal justice system penalizes offender- and offense-based characteristics. The results indicate that offense-based characteristics increased sentence severity for offenders who victimized adults and offender-based characteristics influenced sentence severity for offenders who victimized children. Findings are discussed within the context of previous studies to empirically explore sex offender sentencing and compare differences that aggravating and mitigating circumstances have on sentence outcomes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Criminal Justice Policy Review SAGE

The Impact of Aggravating and Mitigating Factors on the Sentence Severity of Sex Offenders

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References (40)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2012 SAGE Publications
ISSN
0887-4034
eISSN
1552-3586
DOI
10.1177/0887403412462234
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The aggravating and mitigating circumstances that contribute to increased, or decreased, sentence severity for sex offenders have largely been unexplored. Although previous studies have evaluated offending groups who have targeted adult-only, or children-only victims, the current study compares the sentencing outcomes of both offending groups. Using a sample of 519 federally sentenced sex offenders in the province of Quebec the current study explores the extent to which the Canadian criminal justice system penalizes offender- and offense-based characteristics. The results indicate that offense-based characteristics increased sentence severity for offenders who victimized adults and offender-based characteristics influenced sentence severity for offenders who victimized children. Findings are discussed within the context of previous studies to empirically explore sex offender sentencing and compare differences that aggravating and mitigating circumstances have on sentence outcomes.

Journal

Criminal Justice Policy ReviewSAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2014

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