UNC School of Law Studies Prosecutors, Trade Associations, and Criminal Justice Policy

The University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Law’s Prosecutors and Politics project, housed within the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, announced a new study to understand the relationship between district attorney associations and state criminal justice policy. The school’s announcement details the study:

“The conventional wisdom is that these associations of prosecutors wield significant power in the state legislative process,” says Carissa Byrne Hessick, director of the Prosecutors and Politics Project and the Anne Shea Randsdell and William Garland “Buck” Randsdell, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law. “While media accounts and academic scholarship often assume these associations’ activities play a decisive role in the passage or defeat of criminal justice legislation, there is surprisingly little factual information available to either support or disprove that assumption.”

A $55,000 grant from the Charles Koch Foundation will support the study. The gift will allow for ten Carolina Law student research associates who will assist Hessick in gathering and analyzing the data for this study. The gift also reinforces UNC School of Law’s commitment to recruit, retain and reward world-renowned faculty who create meaningful learning experiences for our future lawyer-leaders.

“Reforms to our criminal justice system have opened new opportunities for thousands of individuals and hundreds of communities,” said Charles Koch Foundation Executive Director Ryan Stowers. “We’re excited to support the UNC researchers who have the chance to build on this progress by studying the incentives and relationships that shape the law and how it’s applied.”

You can read more about this study by visiting UNC School of Law’s Prosecutors and Politics project site here.

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