The impact of ethnicity on probation recommendations and dispositions in israel

Ben Zion Cohen, Shulamit Palmor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The criminal justice system in Israel provides probation services to Arab and Jewish offenders. In adult probation, the administrative structure is integrated, but the probation officers are of the same ethnicity as the offenders. Previous research in the juvenile courts has uncovered a tendency toward harsher recommendations for Arab delinquents in presentence reports. The present study examines both recommendations and dispositions for a sample of 208 young adult offenders. With severity of instant offense and prior record controlled the findings indicate that Arab defendants are less likely to be recommended for probation, less likely to be granted probation, and more likely to be sent to prison when not granted probation. The Arab probation officers' more conservative recommendations may reflect their identification with the Arab community at the expense of traditional casework values. This inequality is amplified by the sentencing practices of the courts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-211
Number of pages15
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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