This is the third in a four-part series discussing findings from The Anatomy of Discretion, a Vera Institute study of factors that influence prosecutors’ decisions in criminal cases. In this part, Judge Theodore A. McKee discusses the balance between individualized treatment of defendants and consistency in decision making across similar cases. McKee is the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and previously served on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. In other podcasts in this series, one of the study’s authors summarizes its main findings; a prosecutor discusses the effects of resource constraints; and a law professor discusses the balance between strength of evidence and other considerations.
Michael Jacobson, director and president of the Vera Institute of Justice, and Laura Negrón, director of Vera’s Guardianship Project, talk about the project’s groundbreaking holistic approach to guardianship services for older adults and people with disabilities who have been adjudicated by the court as incapacitated. Watch the video and learn how The Guardianship Project works to ensure more justice for people in need of guardians and saves New York’s taxpayers Medicaid dollars.
Harold Hongju Koh, Legal Adviser for the U.S. Department of State, delivered Vera's 2012 Justice Address on November 8, at The Paley Center for Media in New York City. Koh, a leading expert on international law, spoke about the history of international criminal justice from Nuremberg to the present. John Savarese, chair of Vera's Board of Trustees, presented Koh with the Vera Institute of Justice Commemorative Award. Vera's Justice Address features a prominent national figure who explores important criminal and social justice issues of our time. Previous speakers include Nicholas deB Katzenbach, James B. Comey, and Eric H. Holder, Jr.
On September 24, 2012 Vera held its seventh annual benefit, honoring Rodney O. Martin, Jr., CEO of ING U.S. as corporate honoree, and Vera Trustee Richard G. Dudley, Jr., MD as public service honoree.
The theme of the evening, "Investing in Justice," highlighted Vera's approach toward cost-effective justice system reforms that save taxpayers money while ensuring greater public safety. This idea is captured in the video through the work of Vera's Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit, The Guardianship Project, and the Center for Economic Employment, a Vera spinoff.
Siobhán Carney, Vera’s associate research director, talks with Christopher Wildeman of Yale University about his research into mass incarceration through a public health lens. Christopher Wildeman is an assistant professor of sociology, a faculty fellow at the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course, and a resident fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. His research and teaching interests revolve around the consequences of mass imprisonment for inequality, with emphasis on families, health, and children.
Jim Parsons, director of Vera’s Substance Use and Mental Health Program (SUMH), talks with Richard G. Dudley, Jr., a Vera trustee and psychiatrist with extensive background in forensic psychiatry and community mental health, about how the findings of SUMH’s study can help to address the challenges of identifying mental health needs in criminal justice settings and sharing data across relevant agencies.
This screencast provides an introduction to the Cost-Benefit Knowledge Bank for Criminal Justice (CBKB) and its website, cbkb.org. CBKB is a project of Vera’s Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit.
The Guardianship Project provides guardianship services for older adults and people with disabilities in New York City who have been determined by a judge to be unable to care for themselves. Project staff include lawyers, social workers, and bookkeepers, who oversee an array of services—including health care, home care, and money management—and help clients to remain independent and engaged in their communities. Our services currently save the state more than $2.5 million annually in Medicaid costs, and as it grows those savings will increase significantly. The Guardianship Project was created by the Vera Institute of Justice, a nationally respected leader in the field of justice reform since 1961.
Professor Robert J. Sampson of Harvard University talks with Vera Director Michael Jacobson about his long-term study of inequality in Chicago neighborhoods. Sampson explains the concept of “collective efficacy,” which he coined to describe the catalytic effect of group responses to neighborhood problems. He argues that crime rates are higher and cooperation with law enforcement lower in neighborhoods where collective efficacy is low or nonexistent. This podcast is part of the Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series. Professor Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences and Director of the Social Sciences Program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, is author most recently of Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
Devah Pager, professor of sociology at Princeton University, talks with Vera Director Michael Jacobson about her work on mass incarceration and the social, economic, and political context in which reductions in incarceration become possible. Devah Pager