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.


Photo by Lucy Nicholson (REUTERS)

People in Jail and Prison in Spring 2021

Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) researchers collected data on the number of people in local jails and state and federal prisons throughout 2020 and into spring 2021. Vera researchers estimated the incarcerated population using a sample of approximately 1,600 jail jurisdictions, 50 states, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshals Service (U ...

  • Jacob Kang-Brown, Chase Montagnet, Jasmine Heiss
June 07, 2021