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Research Reports - Criminology & Criminal Justice

Counsel Type in Federal Criminal Court Cases, 2015-18

Kelly Roberts Freeman, National Center for State Courts
Bryce Peterson, CNA Corporation
Richard Hartley, University of Texas at San Antonio

This project was supported by award number 2017-BJ-CX-K055.

This paper examines the role that the type of defense counsel plays in federal justice system outcomes. We begin with a background on federal indigent defense systems and a review of the prior research examining the impact of counsel type on sentencing. We then describe the study and present our descriptive results, which explore the frequency and variation in the use of each type of defense counsel (public defenders, assigned counsel, and private attorneys) and other key variables (disposition, incarceration decision, sentence length, year, district, case, and defendant characteristics). Next, we model the outcomes of incarceration and sentence length to test whether type of counsel significantly impacts these decisions after controlling for legal and extra-legal factors. Lastly, the results are summarized and situated in a broader understanding of the federal justice system.


Violent Crime Reduction Plan Hot Spot Intervention Evaluation: Period 2

Michael Smith, J.D., Ph.D.
Rob Tillyer, Ph.D.

Delivered to the Dallas Police Department February 8, 2022


Assessing Challenges, Needs, and Innovations of Gender-Based Violence Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This survey was developed and distributed in collaboration with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The goal of this project was to document the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the dynamics of gender-based violence in addition to the challenges, needs, and innovations that service providers experienced.

Lynch, K.R., & Logan, T. (2021). Assessing Challenges, Needs, and Innovations of Gender-Based Violence Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results Summary Report. San Antonio, TX: University of Texas at San Antonio, College for Health, Community and Policy.


Texas Law Enforcement Fitness and Wellness Survey

In September 2019, researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville distributed an electronic survey to all Texas law enforcement agencies seeking information on their policies and procedures related to officer fitness and wellness. The overarching goal of the project was to learn more about how Texas law enforcement agencies are thinking about and responding from a policy perspective to contemporary perspectives on officer wellness. The results from the survey will allow agencies to benchmark their own wellness policies and programs against others in the state and to consider ways, where feasible, to invest in improving the fitness, wellness, and resiliency of their officers.

Smith, M.R. et al. (2020). Texas Law Enforcement Fitness and Wellness Survey Report.


A Multi-Method Investigation of Officer Decision-Making and Force Use or Avoided in Arrest Situations

Led by researchers at UTSA with funding from the IACP / University of Cincinnati Center for Police Research and Policy (sponsored by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation), the UTSA research team partnered the Tulsa Police Department and the Cincinnati Police Department to analyze arrest and use of force encounters over a multiyear period within each community.  The goal of this project was to provide a deeper and more contextualized understanding of how and why police use or desist from the use of force and to identify policy, training, or other ways that law enforcement agencies can reduce the need for force, lower the rate of injuries or deaths to civilians, and reduce police victimization when interacting with members of the public under stressful or uncertain conditions.

Smith, M.R. et al. (2020). A Multi-Method Investigation of Officer Decision-Making and Force Used or Avoided in Arrest Situations: Tulsa, Oklahoma and Cincinnati, Ohio Police Use of Force Narrative Data Analysis Report.

Smith, M.R. et al. (2019). A Multi-Method Investigation of Officer Decision-Making and Force Used or Avoided in Arrest Situations:Tulsa, Oklahoma Police Department Administrative Data Analysis Report.