John Andrew Mercs


Presentation: 3:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom



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The current study aimed to examine four types of mandatory minimum laws (i.e., truth in sentencing, determinate sentencing, presence of mandatory minimums because of drug possession, and the presence of a mandatory minimum because of a drug sale with a firearm) and its effect on incarceration rates. Data: Data used for the study was the Impact of State Sentencing Policies on Incarceration Rates in the United States from 1975 to 2002. For the purposes of this study, only year 2002 data was used. Analysis: T-Tests for independent samples were used to examine the association between each independent variable and the outcome. Results: The statistical results show that there is no significant correlations between the variables suggesting that mandatory minimum laws do not have the desire effect on crime rates. Discussion: Legislators considering this punitive approach should consider further research to see if it has an effect in their specific jurisdiction before implementing these laws.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Susybel R. Kallsen

Primary Advisor's Department

Criminal Justice and Security Studies


Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

Analyzing Mandatory Minimum Laws and their Effects on Incarceration Rate.