Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Drug dealers, Prison sentences


A great deal of criminological literature asserts that many non-violent drug offenders are being unnecessarily incarcerated in our nation's prisons. This argument suggests that those offenders typically specialize solely in drug crimes and alternative sanctions would be the most logical and cost-effective way to handle this growing segment of offenders. The purpose of the current research is to examine sentences for non-violent drug convictions and to assess whether presumably non-violent drug offenders pose a significant risk or threat to public safety. An analysis of a sample of 530 convicted drug offenders shows the majority do indeed have significant criminal histories or elements in current offenses that indicate a possible threat to public safety. This analysis contradicts the arguments of criminologists who assert that incarcerated drug offenders are relatively harmless victims of an irrational criminal justice system.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Keith B. Crew, Chair


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 59 leaves : color illustrations ; 28 cm)



File Format


Included in

Criminology Commons