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) is the second-largest university in Houston and 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 approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.