The Research Collaborative on the Politics of Mandatory Sentencing, housed in the Department of Political Science at Georgia State University, encourages and supports scholarly research into all aspects of mandatory sentencing and associated “tough on crime” policies, including – but not limited to – research on the creation and passage of mandatory sentencing laws, the broad effects of such laws within the criminal justice system and beyond, and public support for these policies.  This initiative is funded in part by the Suzan Zoukis Fellowship for Research on Mandatory Sentencing.

The Collaborative will promote a better understanding of the politics that underlie mandatory sentencing and related policies, including those targeted at sexual crimes and offenses.  Since such policies reflect a combination of citizen, legislative, executive and judicial actions and interests, the Collaborative seeks a better understanding of them from these various vantage points. Finally, the initiative seeks to facilitate communication and debate among actors in these different fields.

To achieve these goals the Collaborative will:

  • Sponsor scholarly research, including graduate student research, into all aspects of mandatory sentencing and associated policies.
  • Facilitate access to information and sources needed to study these policies, including maintaining a website that highlights relevant research and houses data of use to those in the scholarly and professional communities.
  • Coordinate and facilitate communication among experts and interested parties in the academic, policy, media, legal, and advocacy fields.
  • Sponsor workshops and conferences to further research and understanding of the politics of mandatory sentencing and associated policies and their broader implications.