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Understanding Prosecutorial Discretion in Florida Criminal Courts

Award Information

Award #
2018-R2-CX-0021
Location
Awardee County
Hillsborough
Congressional District
Status
Open
Funding First Awarded
2018
Total funding (to date)
$438,152

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $248,077)

The applicant proposes a mixed-method approach to examine the cumulative effects of race/ethnicity in criminal court case processing in the state of Florida. The quantitative component will collect a large random sample of cases initially filed as felonies and the analyses of these data will focus on understanding the commonalities and differences in major case outcomes between counties and judicial circuits. The qualitative component of the proposed project involves semi-structured interviews with local prosecutors from each of Florida’s judicial districts. The focus of these interviews is to understand the philosophy and practices guiding case processing in local courtroom working groups. Moreover, based on the quantitative component, supervisory prosecutors will be interviewed to explain differences in case processes and outcomes in their jurisdiction in comparison to those in other jurisdictions. Prosecutors will also be interviewed to give their opinions on the factors causing racial/ethnic disparities in case processing and outcomes. Overall, the results of these quantitative and qualitative components will leap the knowledge base forward concerning prosecutorial discretion and have salient policy implications on these issues. "Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

The applicant proposes a mixed-­method approach to examine the cumulative effects of race/ethnicity in criminal court case processing in the state of Florida. The quantitative component will collect a large random sample of cases initially filed as felonies and the analyses of these data will focus on understanding the commonalities and differences in major case outcomes between counties and judicial circuits. The qualitative component of the proposed project involves semi-structured interviews with local prosecutors from each of Florida's judicial districts. The focus of these interviews is to understand the philosophy and practices guiding case processing in local courtroom working groups. Moreover, based on the quantitative component, supervisory prosecutors will be interviewed to explain differences in case processes and outcomes in their jurisdiction in comparison to those in other jurisdictions. Prosecutors will also be interviewed to give their opinions on the factors causing racial/ethnic disparities in case processing and outcomes.

Overall, the results of these quantitative and qualitative components will leap the knowledge base forward concerning prosecutorial discretion and have salient policy implications on these issues.

"Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). NCA/NCF

Date Created: August 31, 2018