Projects: Federal Sentencing Reporter
Vera and the Federal Sentencing Reportershare an approach to policy change that relies on information, analytical examination, and innovation. Rare among scholarly journals, the Federal Sentencing Reporter focuses—in its authorship and readership—on academics as well as practitioners. In its pages, conversations take place among judges, lawyers, policymakers, and scholars. The publication is an intellectual resource that people in the field turn to for solutions and that academics rely on to propose, learn about, and discuss new ideas. Each issue offers in-depth analysis on a wide range of topics related to sentencing policies and practices.
The Federal Sentencing Reporter is published five times a year. For each issue, Vera posts on its web site the “Editor’s Observations” (a regular feature that highlights the themes of the issue), a selected article, and the table of contents. Other articles, subscription services, and archives are available through University of California Press.
Volume 25, Number 3
Risk, Sentencing & Reform
FSR dedicates this issue to the life and professional legacy of Dr. Richard P. Kern, the long-serving Director of the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission. In December 2011, we lost Rick after a long and valiant battle with cancer. Rick never let his disease define him. Rather, Rick focused on his family and his important work. Rick Kern was a true pioneer in gathering and using data—especially about risk—to inform criminal justice and sentencing policy. We are all richer for having had him in our lives.
This issue also addresses two other key aspects of the sentencing universe. First, Caleb Mason and David Bjerk explore inter-judge sentencing disparity through the lens of drug smuggling cases filed from 2007 to 2010 in the Southern District of California. Finally, we are pleased to reprint an important paper on performance incentive funding authored by Alison Shames, the Associate Director of the Center on Sentencing and Corrections at our publisher, the Vera Institute of Justice.
A Catalyst for Justice
Steven L. Chanenson, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Research, Villanova University School of Law, Managing Editor, Federal Sentencing Reporter
Performance Incentive Funding: Aligning Fiscal and Operational Responsibility to Produce More Safety at Less Cost
Alison Shames, Associate Director, Center on Sentencing and Corrections, Vera Institute of Justice
Performance incentive funding (PIF) programs financially reward community corrections agencies and local jurisdictions with a share of state savings for delivering better outcomes, including sending fewer offenders to prison, through the use of evidence-based practices. Highlighted in Vera’s report are lessons learned by the states that have already enacted PIF legislation and the key considerations policymakers need to take into account when designing and implementing their own PIF program.
Other articles in this issue
(available through University of California Press)
Richard P. Kern’s Vision and Advocacy for Data-Driven Decision Making in the Criminal Justice System: The Foundation for Building an Interface Between Social Science and the Law
Roger K. Przybylski, Consultant and Founder, RKC Group and Kim English, Research Director, Colorado Division of Criminal Justice, Department of Public Safety
The Evolution of Offender Risk Assessment in Virginia
Brian J. Ostrom, Principal Research Consultant, National Center for State Courts and Neal B. Kauder, President, VisualResearch, Inc.
The Evolution of Sentencing Guidelines in Virginia: An Example of the Importance of Standardized and Automated Felony Sentencing DataMeredith Farrar-Owens, Director, Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission
Sentence Reform in Virginia
Richard Kern, Former Director, Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission
Sentencing Guidelines with Integrated Offender Risk AssessmentRichard P. Kern, Former Director, Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission and Meredith Farrar-Owens, Director, Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission
Paving a Path to Informed Sentencing Decisions
David A. Soulé, Executive Director, Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy, University of Maryland and Stacy S. Najaka, Research Director, Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy
A View from the Field: Practitioners’ Response to Actuarial Sentencing: An “Unsettled” Proposition
Richard P. Kern, Former Director, Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission and Mark H. Bergstrom, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing
Inter-Judge Sentencing Disparity on the Federal Bench: An Examination of Drug Smuggling Cases in the Southern District of California
Caleb Mason, Miller Barondess, LLP and David Bjerk, Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, Claremont McKenna College