Gendered decision making in the courts
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Gendered decision making in the courts book
The Magistrate Courts preside over civil, family and criminal matters. This chapter analyses the gendered treatment of male offenders by officials of the court using D. Steffensmeier's focal concerns theory as a frame of reference. C. Albonetti applied R. Simon’s economic theory to human behaviour as it relates to courtroom decision making. The application of bounded rationality sees courtroom decision makers base their sentencing decisions partly on perceptions and stereotypes regarding the offender. The PROTECT Act/Feeney Amendment reduced the criteria for Guideline departures, and established monitoring mechanisms for judicial decisions. The act also gave attorneys the ability to report to congress any judge that in their opinion passed sentences that were in opposition to the Guidelines. Instead judges intuitively assess all the factors relevant to a case in order to arrive at a sentencing decision.