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Symposium on Crime and Justice
The Past and Future of Empirical Sentencing Research

September 23 & 24, 2010
Page Hall Auditorium, University at Albany
Project Director:  Shawn Bushway, University at Albany
Associate Project Director: Diana Mancini, University at Albany

View the Symposium Video. (Acknowledgments)

Many thanks to our generous sponsors!

Main Papers are linked to their respective session titles below. Discussant Comments are linked to their respective authors' names below.

The punishment received by those convicted in the criminal justice system is the outcome of a complex set of interactions between actors starting with the initial charge and ending only when the convicted individual is released from supervision. There is a consensus among criminological scholars that the empirical study of this sentencing process has stagnated. The National Science Foundation has agreed to partially fund this symposium to help reinvigorate empirical research in this area by reengaging with other disciplines and reconnecting with the ongoing policy debates about sentencing. We have assembled a top flight group of scholars to review the current state of sentencing research and chart future research directions. We encourage ALL researchers (and policymakers interested in research) to come and participate in the discussion.

Our Topics and Presenters
The Role of Race in Sentencing Outcomes
Chair Cassia Spohn, Arizona State University
Main Presenter Eric Baumer, The Florida State University
Discussants David Baldus, University of Iowa Richard Frase, University of Minnesota Samuel Sommers, Tufts University
Risk Assessment in Sentencing
Chair Charles Wellford, University of Maryland
Main Presenter Kelly Hannah-Moffat, University of Toronto
Discussants Bernard Harcourt, University of Chicago Jennifer Skeem, University of California--Irvine Mark Bergstrom, Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing
Discretion and Decision Making in the Sentencing Process
Chair Jeffery Ulmer, Penn State University
Main Presenters Brian Forst, American University Shawn Bushway, University at Albany
Discussants Kim Hunt, US Sentencing Commission Nancy King, Vanderbilt University Max Schanzenbach, Northwestern University
Managing the Criminal Justice Population
Chair Al Blumstein, Carnegie Mellon University
Main Presenter Bill Sabol, Bureau of Justice Statistics
Discussants Steve Aos, Washington State Institute for Public Policy Marie Gottschalk, University of Pennsylvania Glenn Loury, Brown University
A Discussion with the U.S. Sentencing Commission about Demographic
Differences in Federal Sentencing
Chair Susan Haire, University of Georgia
Presenters Glenn R. Schmitt, Office of Research and Data, USSC Louis Reedt, Office of Research and Data, USSCKevin Blackwell, Office of Research and Data, USSC
Daily Session Wrap Ups
Chair Sara Steen, University of Colorado--Boulder
Discussants Anne Piehl, Rutgers University Michael Tonry, University of Minnesota

This event is made possible in large part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (SES-0939099).