Shima Baradaran Baughman of the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law and Megan S. Wright of Penn State Law have posted “Prosecutors and Mass Incarceration” (Southern California Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here’s the abstract:

It has long been postulated that America’s mass incarceration phenomenon is driven by increased drug arrests, draconian sentencing, and the growth of a prison industry. Yet among the major players—legislators, judges, police, and prosecutors—one of these is shrouded in mystery. While laws on the books, judicial sentencing, and police arrests are all public and transparent, prosecutorial charging decisions are made behind closed doors with little oversight or public accountability. Indeed, without notice by commentators, during the last ten years or more, crime has fallen, and police have cut arrests accordingly, but prosecutors have actually increased the ratio of criminal court filings. Why?

Baughman, Shima Baradaran and Wright, Megan, Prosecutors and Mass Incarceration (September 8, 2020). Southern California Law Review, Forthcoming, University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 392, Available at SSRN:

Shima Baradaran Baughman

University of Utah, S. J. Quinney College of Law

Shima Baradaran Baughman is the Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development at the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law. Professor Baughman's research focuses on bail, prosecutors, police, race, drugs, prediction and violent crime. She has worked with empiricists on the largest international randomized controlled trial and the largest national experiment with prosecutors. Her work has been published in top law reviews including the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Texas Law Review, Georgetown Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, USC, and Notre Dame.

Megan Wright

Penn State Law

Megan Wright is assistant professor of law and medicine—Penn State Law’s first joint appointment with the College of Medicine—as well as an affiliate faculty member with the Department of Sociology and the Rock Ethics Institute in the College of the Liberal Arts. Professor Wright joined Penn State from Weill Cornell Medical College, where she was a postdoctoral associate of medical ethics. Concurrently, she served as a research fellow and senior adviser to the Consortium for the Advanced Study of Brain Injury Project at the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School.


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