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.


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