The Anatomy of Discretion (Podcast 2 of 4) Interview with Anne J. Swern

This is the second 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, prosecutor Anne J. Swern discusses the effects of resource constraints. Swern is First Assistant District Attorney for Kings County, NY, and serves on the board of directors and the executive committee of the National District Attorneys Association. In other podcasts in this series, one of the study’s authors summarizes its main findings; 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...

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