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The Perils of FederalismRace, Poverty, and the Politics of Crime Control$

Lisa L. Miller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331684.001.0001

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(p.193) Appendix 2: Pennsylvania Legislative Hearings and Interview Data

(p.193) Appendix 2: Pennsylvania Legislative Hearings and Interview Data

Source:
The Perils of Federalism
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Hearings

I sought Pennsylvania House and Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on crime and justice from several sources and identified 479 hearings in both chambers between 1965 and 2004. A list of all Senate judiciary hearings from 1985 to 2004 was provided by the office of the Chair of the Judiciary Committee. Senate hearings prior to 1985 were archived, and a comprehensive list from 1965–84 was provided by the Senate library. For House judiciary committee hearings, I received lists of hearings of the period 1979 through 2004 from administrative assistants in the House Judiciary Committee office and the chief clerk's office. For hearings prior to 1979, I received a list from the State Archives identifying all House Judiciary Committee hearings. I also searched the Pennsylvania State Archives website for any additional hearings. I am particularly grateful to Judy Sedesse, Peggy Nissly, and Jackie Jumper in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Pennsylvania Archives for their enormous assistance in helping me locate these hearings. I would never have been able to compile this dataset without their kind, generous, and able assistance. There are obvious limitations to these data. By acknowledgment of the archivists in the Senate Archives and the State Archives, it is unlikely that the lists of hearings prior to the 1980s are complete. However, both archivists indicated that major hearings are most likely to have been recorded.

Physically retrieving the hearing transcripts was difficult, time‐consuming, and expensive. As a result, the hearings from which witness lists were analyzed do not make up a random sample but rather a careful selection of hearings that includes a wide range of topics (n=309). Since the earlier years had fewer hearings, I obtained a range of hearings covering a diverse set of topics that included both bill and nonbill hearings. In particular, I included as many hearings on substantive crime topics as I could from both periods, in order to avoid undersampling hearings that were most likely to include the citizen groups of particular interest in this project.

(p.194)

table A2.1. Number of Hearings by Time Period, Chamber, Bill, Topic, and Percentage of Witness Dataset

Time period

Total hearings

Included in dataset

1965–1980

96

61 (63.5%)

1981–2004

351

248 (70.7%)

House

289

233 (80.6%)

Senate

158

76 (48.1%)

Bill

233

176 (75.5%)

Nonbill

209

133 (63.6%)

Substantive issues

141

116 (80.5%)

Procedural issues

294

193 (65.6%)

Table A2.1 shows the number of hearings identified by time period, chamber, bill, and topic and what percentage were included in the witness dataset.

Types of crime were categorized as follows:

  • “Crimes against women/children”: domestic violence, sexual assault, family violence, stalking, pornography, sexual predators, child witness testimony, and so on

  • “Urban violence”: drugs, juveniles, gangs, guns, and policing. “Criminal procedure and prison issues”: wiretapping, search and seizure, insanity defense, prison overcrowding and reform

  • “Court and prison administrative issues”: judicial procedure, selection of judges, compensation, appellate court reform, prerelease programs, furlough programs, crime commission reports, community corrections, probation and parole

Interviews

For the interviews, I selected members of the House and Senate Judiciary committee. The oversampling of Democrats was to ensure that the areas from which citizen groups, particularly broad citizen groups, might emerge were sufficiently represented. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and analysis of the hearings consisted of review of the written transcripts as well as searches of the texts for various group names and organizations. I also counted all groups mentioned in the interviews and have included data on the total number of groups as well as the frequency with which different types appear. Given the sensitive nature of crime victimization and the disinclination of legislators to criticize popular groups mobilized on crime issues, I promised my respondents confidentiality in the interview process. As a result, I identify the respondents by interview numbers. Table A2.2 shows the respondent interviews by party, chamber, and date of interview.

Mean differences in Herfindahl scores for each time period, chapter 4, are as shown in table A2.3. (p.195)

table A2.2. Respondent Interviews by Party, Chamber, and Date

Party

Chamber

Number

Date

D

House

401

30 Sep

2003

R

Senate

402

30 Sep

2003

R

Senate

403

30 Sep

2003

R

House

404

30 Sep

2003

D

Senate

405

28 Oct

2003

D

Senate

406

28 Oct

2003

R

House

407

28 Oct

2003

D

Senate

408

28 Oct

2003

D

House

409

13 Nov

2003

R

House

410

26 Feb

2004

D

Senate

411

17 Feb

2004

D

House

412

30 Mar

2004

table A2.3. Mean Differences in Herfindahl Scores for Concentration of Group Representation, by Time Period

All groups*

Major groups

1965–1985

33.04752

49.2035

1986–2004

14.14917

34.80501

*Differences significant at p < .05 (two‐tailed).

(p.196)