Does Mandatory Diversion to Drug Treatment Eliminate Racial Disparities in the Incarceration of Drug Offenders? An Examination of California’s Proposition 36
AbstractLike other states, minorities are disproportionately represented in the California’s state prison system, particularly for drug offenses. Unlike other states, California has had a policy of mandatory diversion to drug treatment for non-violent drug offenders since mid-2001 (Proposition 36). Using a rich dataset including current and prior criminal charges from 1995 through 2005 in California, we examine whether disparities in court dispositions to prison and drug treatment between White and Blacks male drug offenders are explained by observable case and criminal justice characteristics. We estimate the extent to which remaining observable disparities are affected by Proposition 36. We find that Black and White male drug offenders differ considerably on covariates, but by weighting on the inverse of a nonparametric estimate of the propensity score, we can compare Blacks to Whites that are on average equivalent on covariates. Unadjusted disparities in the likelihood of being sentenced to prison are substantially reduced by propensity score weighting. Proposition 36 reduces the likelihood of prison overall, but not differentially for Blacks. By contrast, racial disparity in diversion to drug treatment is not reduced by propensity score weighting. There is some evidence that Proposition 36 increased diversion for Blacks.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18518.
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Note: HE LE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-11-17 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Heckman, James J. & Todd, Petra E., 2009.
"A Note on Adapting Propensity Score Matching and Selection Models to Choice Based Samples,"
IZA Discussion Papers
4304, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- James J. Heckman & Petra E. Todd, 2009. "A note on adapting propensity score matching and selection models to choice based samples," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 12(s1), pages S230-S234, 01.
- James J. Heckman & Petra E. Todd, 2009. "A Note on Adapting Propensity Score Matching and Selection Models to Choice Based Samples," NBER Working Papers 15179, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2003.
"Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score,"
Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1161-1189, 07.
- Guido Imbens, 2000. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1166, Econometric Society.
- Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2000. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," NBER Technical Working Papers 0251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Busso, Matias & DiNardo, John & McCrary, Justin, 2009. "New Evidence on the Finite Sample Properties of Propensity Score Matching and Reweighting Estimators," IZA Discussion Papers 3998, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ridgeway, Greg & MacDonald, John M., 2009. "Doubly Robust Internal Benchmarking and False Discovery Rates for Detecting Racial Bias in Police Stops," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 104(486), pages 661-668.
- Harold Pollack & Peter Reuter & Eric L. Sevigny, 2011. "If Drug Treatment Works So Well, Why Are So Many Drug Users in Prison?," NBER Working Papers 16731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mustard, David B, 2001. "Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Courts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 285-314, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.