15:42 PM

Are Sentences Fair & Equitable? How Do We Know?

vitalvoices Speaker Series Seeks the Answers


By Sheryl E. Taylor

The Center for Public Service & Community Research in the College of Public Service is hosting the upcoming vitalvoices Speaker Series event, “Opening the Black Box of Federal Illegal Reentry Sentencing,” 3 - 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10.

This virtual event features UHD’s Dr. Kevin Buckler, professor of Criminal Justice as he discusses research findings from his study of the processes that produce sentencing outcomes in illegal reentry cases in Houston federal district court. Federal sentencing guidelines were created to address disparities in criminal sentences across similarly situated defendants. Some discussion will focus on the difficulty of identifying similarly situated defendants.

Buckler’s findings are derived from observations (sentencing hearings and records analysis) on 53 cases decided by 11 different U.S. District Court judges. The study discusses judicial decision-making within the framework of the federal sentencing guidelines. Emphasis will be presented on how judicial sentencing outcomes are influenced by both individual judicial preference and interactions with other courtroom participants (prosecutors, defense counsel, and probation officers).

To register for this virtual event, click here.

For more information contact Steven Villano, Director of Center for Public Service & Community Research, at villanos@uhd.edu.


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) – the second-largest university in Houston – has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.

As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.