The Anatomy of Discretion (Podcast 1 of 4) Interview with Don Stemen

This is the first 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, Professor Don Stemen talks with Vera Director Michael Jacobson about the study’s main findings. Stemen is author of numerous works on sentencing and corrections policies, sentencing guidelines, mandatory treatment for drug offenders, and racial disparities in prosecution and sentencing. In other podcasts in this series, a prosecutor discusses the effects of resource constraints; a federal judge discusses the balance between individualized treatment of defendants and consistency in decision making across similar cases; and a law professor discusses the balance between strength of evidence and other considerations.


The Arrest-Jail Admission Gap

Jail admission rates surpass arrest rates in small and rural counties

But why does this jail-arrest gap exist? First, it is important to acknowledge that differences in counties’ data collection, data sources, and documentation could have contributed to the gap. Federal statistics have some data gaps—not all arrests are reported in FBI statistics, and some jail admissions are missing in states that have city level pr...

Blog Post
  • Abdul Rad
    Abdul Rad
  • Wenshu (Monica) Yang
    Wenshu (Monica) Yang
January 10, 2020
Blog Post