The Interrelationship between Area Deprivation and Ethnic Disparities in Sentencing Deprivation and Ethnic Disparities in Sentencing
AbstractIn the study of sentencing disparities, class related hypotheses have received considerably less attention than explanations based on offenders' ethnicity. This is unfortunate since the two mechanisms are likely interrelated, at the very least as a result of their overlap in the population, with ethnic minorities being generally more deprived than the White majority. In this registered report we propose exploring the mediating and moderating effects between offenders' area deprivation and their ethnic background using a novel administrative dataset capturing all offences processed through the England and Wales Crown Court. Specifically, we seek to test whether the reported ethnic disparities in sentencing are explained away by area deprivation, and whether White offenders from deprived areas are more disadvantaged than the average ethnic minority offender. Results from this empirical analysis will shed new light on the underlying causes of sentencing disparities, but crucially-if deprivation is shown to play a major role in the generation of ethnic disparities-they will also help inform the adequate policy responses to redress this problem.