School of Law

Criminal Sentencing Research

05 December 2017 | 17:30 - 18:30 | Lecture
Moot Court Room, Liberty Building, University of Leeds

Criminal Sentencing Research: A Perfect Case Study to Illustrate the Importance of Methods in the Social Sciences

The act of passing a sentence is perhaps the most visible and symbolic of all the processes involved in the criminal justice system. Its relevance, in addition to the increasing availability of secondary data, has resulted in the attraction of much academic attention; to the point that key criminological and legal topics such as discrimination, deterrence, court cultures, cannot be conceived without the contributions made by quantitative research. Yet, in spite of its prominence, methodological advances in this field have been unsatisfactory. 

As part of series of events to mark the 30th anniversary of the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, this public lecture will address the need to engage with state of the art quantitative methods used in other social science disciplines, and to push that frontier even further. In particular, examples from methods that have become now entrenched in the field – namely, descriptive statistics used in government reports, and standard multilevel models employed by academics – are utilised to show how alternative approaches can provide radically different findings. A new finite mixture Bayesian model, currently in development, but potentially capable of modelling simultaneously custodial and non-custodial sentences will be outlined.

Speaker: Dr. Jose Pina-Sánchez

Dr. Jose Pina-Sánchez joined the School of Law in 2015, having previously worked as a consultant in public policy evaluation, as a research intern at the Sentencing Council for England and Wales, and as a Fellow in Statistics at the London School of Economics. In his current position, as a Lecturer in Quantitative Criminology, Jose's work spans both methodological and substantive areas. Namely, questions of measurement error in survey data and the study of consistency in sentencing. Presently, Jose is working on the overlap of those two questions by leading a research project funded by the National Centre for Research Methods seeking to create a new and more robust quantitative framework for the analysis of sentencing data.

There will be a drinks reception after the event outside the Moot Court Room


Location Details

Moot Court Room
School of Law
Liberty Building
University of Leeds

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