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Cassia Spohn

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School Director & Professor
Faculty, DTPHX Campus, Mailcode 4420
Biography

Cassia Spohn is a Foundation Professor and Director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. She received her PhD in political science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is the author or co-author of seven books, including Policing and Prosecuting Sexual Assault: Inside the Criminal Justice System, which was published in 2014. Her research interests include prosecutorial and judicial decision making, the intersections of race, ethnicity, crime and justice, and sexual assault case processing decisions . In 2013 she received ASU’s Award for Leading Edge Research in the Social Sciences and was selected as a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology.  She also is a Fellow of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the Western Society of Criminology.  In 2017 she was appointed to the Department of Defense Advisory Board on Investigation, Prosecution, and Defense of Sexual Assault inthe Armed Forces. 

Research Interests
  • judicial decision making and sentencing outcomes
  • prosecutors' charging decisions
  • plea bargaining
  • sexual assault case processing decisions
  • offender recidivism
  • problem solving courts
Publications
  • Decker, Scott H., Ortiz, Natalie, Spohn, Cassia, and Hedberg, Eric. Criminal Stigma, Race, and Ethnicity: The Consequences of Imprisonment for Employment. Journal of Criminal Justice (2015).
  • O'Neal, Eryn, Tellis, Katharine and Spohn, Cassia. Prosecuting Intimate Partner Sexual Assault: Legal and Extra-Legal Factors That Influence Charging Decisions. Violence Against Women (2015).
  • Spohn, Cassia. The Evolution of Sentencing Research. Criminology & Public Policy (2015).
  • Steven Belenko and Cassia Spohn. Drugs, Crime and Justice. (2015).
  • Kaiser, Kimberly and Spohn, Cassia. "’Fundamentally Flawed? Exploring the Use of Policy Disagreements in Judicial Downward Departures for Child Pornography Sentences.". Criminology & Public Policy (2014).
  • Kutateladze, Besiki, Andiloro, Nancy, Johnson, Brian and Spohn, Cassia. "Cumulative Disadvantage: Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparity in Prosecution and Sentencing.". Criminology (2014).
  • Ortiz, Natalie and Spohn, Cassia. Mitigating the Effect of a Criminal Record at Sentencing: Local Life Circumstances and Substantial Assistance Departures among Recidivists in Federal Court. Criminal Justice Policy Review (2014).
  • Spohn, Cassia. "Twentieth-Century Sentencing Reform Movement: Looking Backward, Moving Forward.". Criminology & Public Policy (2014).
  • Spohn, Cassia, Byungbae Kim, Byungbae, Belenko, Steven and Brennan, Pauline. . "Direct and Indirect Effects of Offender Drug Use on Federal Sentencing Outcomes.". Journal of Quantitative Criminology (2014).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Tellis, Katharine. Policing and Prosecuting Sexual Assault: Inside the Criminal Justice System. (2014).
  • Spohn, Cassia. Racial disparities in Prosecution, Sentencing, and Punishment. Oxford Handbook on Race, Ethnicity, Immigration and Crime (2014).
  • Spohn, Cassia, Tellis, Katherine and O’Neal, Eryn N. "Policing and Prosecuting Sexual Assault: Assessing the Pathways to Justice. Critical issues on violence against women: International perspectives and promising strategies (2014).
  • O'Neal, Eryn, Decker, Scott and Spohn, Cassia. Condom Use During Sexual Assault. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine (2013).
  • Spohn, Cassia. The Effects of Race and Ethnicity on Federal Sentencing Outcomes in the Guidelines Era. Law and Contemporary Problems (2013).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Belenko, Steven. Do the Drugs, Do the Time? The Effect of Drug Abuse on Sentences Imposed on Drug Offenders in Three U.S. District Courts. Criminal Justice and Behavior (2013).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Sample, Lisa. The Dangerous Drug Offender in Federal Court: Intersections of Race, Ethnicity and Culpability. Crime & Delinquency (2013).
  • Wang, Xia, Mears, Dan, Spohn, Cassia and Dario, Lisa. Assessing the Effects of Race and Ethnicity on Sentence Outcomes in Jurisdictions with Different Types of Sentencing Systems. Crime & Delinquency (2013).
  • Brody, David, Hemmens, Craig, and Spohn, Cassia. Criminal Courts: A Contemporary Perspective. (2013).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Brennan, Pauline. Gender, Sentencing and Punishment. Routledge Handbook of Gender and Crime Studies (2013).
  • Beichner, Dawn and Spohn, Cassia. Modeling the Effects of Victim Behavior and More Character on Prosecutors’ Charging Decisions in Sexual Assault Cases. Violence and Victims (2012).
  • Cano, Mario and Spohn, Cassia. Circumventing the penalty: Assessing the Impact of Substantial Assistance Departures on Mandatory Minimum Sentencing. Criminal Justice and Behavior (2012).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Tellis, Katharine. The Criminal Justice System’s Response to Sexual Violence. Journal of Violence Against Women (2012).
  • Tasca, Melinda, Rodriguez, Nancy, Spohn, Cassia and Koss, Mary. Police Decision Making in Sexual Assault Cases: Predictors of Suspect Identification and Arrest. Journal of Interpersonal Violence (2012).
  • Walker, Samuel, Spohn, Cassia and DeLone, Miriam. The Color of Justice: Race and Crime in America. (2012).
  • Spohn, Cassia. Unwarranted Disparity in the Wake of the Booker/Fanfan Decision: Implications for Research and Policy. Criminology & Public Policy (2011).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Brennan, Pauline. The Joint Effects of Offender Race/Ethnicity and Sex on Substantial Assistance Departures in Federal Courts. Race and Justice (2011).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Tellis, Katharine. Justice Denied? An Analysis of the Exceptional Clearance of Rape Cases in Los Angeles. Albany Law Review (2011).
  • Wolfe, Scott, Pyrooz, David and Spohn, Cassia. Unraveling the Effect of Offender Citizenship Status on Federal Sentencing Outcomes. Social Science Research (2011).
  • Walker, Samuel, Spohn, Cassia Cathleen, DeLone, Miriam. The Color of Justice: Race and Crime in America. (2007).
  • . . Criminal Justice Policy Review (2007).
  • . . Justice Quarterly (2007).
  • . . Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law 11 (2006).
  • . . Criminal Justice Theory: Explicating Concepts and Linkages About the Nature and Behavior of Criminal Justice (2006).
  • . . Criminal Law Bulletin (2006).
  • . . Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (2006).
  • . . Feminist Criminology (2006).
  • . . Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency (2006).
  • . . Justice Research & Policy (2006).
  • Spohn, Cassia Cathleen (Author) . Sentencing Decisions in Three U.S. District Courts: Testing the Assumption of Uniformity in the Federal Sentencing Process. Justice Research & Policy (2006).
  • Beichner, Dawn (Author) ,Spohn, Cassia Cathleen (Author) . Prosecutors' Charging Decisions in Sexual Assault Cases: Examining the Impact of a Specialized Unit. Criminal Justice Police Review (2005).
  • Guevara, Lori (Author) ,Spohn, Cassia Cathleen (Author) ,Herz, Denise (Author) . Legal Representation in the Juvenile Court. Crime and Delinquency (2004).
  • Holleran, David (Author) ,Spohn, Cassia Cathleen (Author) . On the Use of the Total Incarceration Variable in Sentencing Research. Criminology (2004).
  • Wilmot, Keith (Author) ,Spohn, Cassia Cathleen (Author) . Prosecutorial Discretion and Real Offense Sentencing Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines: An Analysis of Relevant Conduct. Criminal Justice Policy Review (2004).
  • . . Crime Control and Social Justice: The Delicate Balance (2003).
  • . . Critical Issues in Crime and Justice (2003).
  • . . Journal of Justice Studies (2003).
  • Spohn, Cassia Cathleen. How Do Judges Decide? The Quest for Fairness and Justice in Punishment. (2002).
  • Kautt, Paula (Author) ,Spohn, Cassia Cathleen (Author) . Crack-ing Down on Black Drug Offenders?: Testing for Interactions Between Offender Race, Drug Type, and Sentencing Strategy in Federal Drug Sentences. Justice Quarterly (2002).
  • Spohn, Cassia Cathleen (Author) ,Holleran, David (Author) . The Effect of Imprisonment on Recidivism Rates of Felony Offenders: A Focus on Drug Offenders. Criminology (2002).
  • . . (2001).
  • Spohn, Cassia Cathleen (Author) ,Beichner, Dawn (Author) ,Davis, Erika (Author) . Prosecutorial Justifications for Sexual Assault Case Rejection: Guarding the Gateway to Justice. Social Problems (2001).
  • Spohn, Cassia Cathleen (Author) ,Davis Frenzel, Erika (Author) ,Martin, Tom (Author) ,Piper, R K (Author) . Drug Courts and Recidivism: The Results of an Evaluation Using Two Comparison Groups and Multiple Indicators of Recidivism. Journal of Drug Issues (2001).
  • Spohn, Cassia Cathleen (Author) ,Holleran, David (Author) . Prosecuting Sexual Assault: A Comparison of Charging Decisions in Sexual Assault Cases Involving Strangers, Acquaintances, and Intimate Partners. Justice Quarterly (2001).
  • Spohn, Cassia Cathleen. Sentencing Drug Offenders. Encyclopedia of Women and Crime (2000).
  • . . (2000).
  • . . Criminology (2000).
  • . . Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice (2000).
  • . . Encyclopedia of Women and Crime (2000).
  • . . National Institute of Justice: Criminal Justice (2000).
  • Spohn, Cassia Cathleen (Author) ,Beichner, Dawn (Author) . Is Preferential Treatment of Female Offenders a Thing of the Past? A Multi-Site Study of Gender, Race, and Imprisonment. Criminal Justice Policy Review (2000).
  • Spohn, Cassia Cathleen (Author) ,DeLone, Miriam (Author) . When Does Race Matter?: An Examination of the Conditions Under Which Race Affects Sentence Severity. Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance (2000).
Research Activity
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
CRJ 608Adv Topics-Courts & Sentencing
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
CRJ 394Special Topics
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
CRJ 518Race/Ethnicity,Crime & Justice
Summer 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
CRJ 492Honors Directed Study
CRJ 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
CRJ 492Honors Directed Study
CRJ 493Honors Thesis
CRJ 499Individualized Instruction
Summer 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
CRJ 492Honors Directed Study
CRJ 499Individualized Instruction
CRJ 590Reading and Conference
CRJ 592Research
CRJ 595Continuing Registration
CRJ 599Thesis
CRJ 792Research
CRJ 795Continuing Registration
CRJ 799Dissertation
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
CRJ 612Adv Topics in Race, Gender&CJ
CRJ 792Research
CRJ 795Continuing Registration
CRJ 799Dissertation
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
CRJ 513Seminar in Courts & Sentencing
CRJ 792Research
CRJ 795Continuing Registration
CRJ 799Dissertation
Summer 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
CRJ 792Research
CRJ 795Continuing Registration
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
CRJ 492Honors Directed Study
CRJ 792Research
CRJ 795Continuing Registration
CRJ 799Dissertation
Presentations
  • Spohn, Cassia. "Sentencing as a Collaborative Process: Judges, Prosecutors and Disparity in Sentencing.". Institute for the Rule of Law, St. Petersburg, Russia (Oct 2014).
  • Spohn, Cassia. "Five Waves of Research on the Effects of Race and Ethnicity on Sentencing.". Institute for the Rule of Law, St. Petersburg, Russia (Oct 2014).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Belenko, Steven. "Explaining Racial Disparity in Arrest Rates for Drug Offenses". European Society of Criminology (Sep 2014).
  • Spohn, Cassia. Disparity and Discrimination in Sentencing: Five Waves of Research. National Association of Sentencing Commissions (Aug 2014).
  • Spohn, Cassia. The Predictors and Consequences of the Victim's Refusal to Cooperate in Sexual Assault Cases. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (Mar 2014).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Tellis, Katharine. The Effects of Forensic Medical Exams on Sexual Assault Case Outcomes. American Society of Criminology (Nov 2013).
  • Kim, Byungbae, Spohn, Cassia and Hedberg, Eric. Discretion in the federal sentencing process: Estimating inter-judge and inter-prosecutor disparity in sentencing using cross-classified multi-level modeling. American Society of Criminology (Nov 2013).
  • Spohn, Cassia. Ethics in Publishing: Can Journal Editors Police the Publishing Process?. American Society of Criminology (Nov 2013).
  • Spohn, Cassia. Prosecuting Sexual Assault: Lessons from Los Angeles. Vera Institute of Justice (Nov 2013).
  • Spohn, Cassia. The Impact of U.S. v. Booker and Gall/Kimbrough v. U.S. on Sentence Severity in U.S. District Courts: The Relationship Between Social Context and Judicial Discretion. Austrailia and New Zealand Society of Criminology (Oct 2013).
  • Spohn, Cassia, Belenko, Steven, and Kim, Byungbae. Plea Bargaining Decisions in U.S. District Courts: Testing for Variations Across Prosecutors. European Society of Criminology (Sep 2013).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Tellis, Katharine. Prosecuting Sexual Assault: The Pre-Arrest Screening Process and Its Implications. International Association of Law and Mental Health (Jul 2013).
  • Ortiz, Natalie, Decker, Scott, and Spohn, Cassia. Race/ethnicity, gender, and criminal stigma: An expanded assessment of the consequences of imprisonment for employment. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (Mar 2013).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Tellis, Katharine. Legitimate Rape and Righteous Victims: The Voices of Detectives and District Attorneys. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (Mar 2013).
  • Spohn, Cassia. The Effect of Race on Sentencing. annual Fred Gray Civil Rights Symposium, Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, Faulkner University (Mar 2013).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Tellis, Katharine. Disentangling the Overlappping Decisions of Police and Prosecutors in Sexual Assault Cases. American Society of Criminology (Nov 2012).
  • Ortiz, Natalie, Decker, Scott, and Spohn, Cassia. Criminal Record and Employment Prospects: An Experimental Audit Study. Western Society of Criminology (Feb 2012).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Tellis, Katharine. The (Mis)Use of the Exceptional Clearance to ‘Solve’ Problematic Sexual Assault Cases: Lessons from Los Angeles. American Society of Criminology (Nov 2011).
  • Tellis, Katharine and Spohn, Cassia. ’If You File the Dog, You Walk the Dog:’ Voices of Sex Crimes Detectives and Prosecutors in Los Angeles. American Society of Criminology (Nov 2011).
  • O'Neal, Eryn, Tellis, Katharine, and Spohn, Cassia. When the Bedroom Is the Crime Scene: Police and Prosecutor Response to Intimate Partner Sexual Assault. American Society of Criminology (Nov 2011).
  • Vaughn-Uding, Clair, Romain, Danielle, Spohn, Cassia and Tellis, Katharine. Guarding the Gateway to Justice: Redefining the Role of the Prosecutor in Sexual Assault Case Processing Decisions. American Society of Criminology (Nov 2011).
  • Kim, Byungbae, Spohn, Cassia and Brennan, Pauline. Racial/Ethnic Disparity among Female Offenders in Federal District Court: Explicating the Patterns of Disparities Using a Path Model. American Society of Criminology (Nov 2011).
  • Spohn, Cassia and Belenko, Steven. Do the Drugs, Do the Time? The Effect of Drug Abuse on Sentences Imposed on Drug Offenders in Three U.S. District Court. European Society of Criminology (Sep 2011).
  • Spohn, Cassia, Tellis, Katharine, Romain, Danielle, Vaughn-Uding. Unfounding Sexual Assaults: False Allegations by Victims and Police Suspicion of Victims. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (Mar 2011).
  • Spohn, Cassia, Tellis, Katharine, and O'Neal, Eryn. The Ubiquity of the Exceptional Clearance of Sexual Assault Cases in Los Angeles. Western Society of Criminology (Feb 2011).
  • Spohn, Cassia. Lawlessness in Sentencing? A Test for Inter-Judge Disparity in Sentencing. 2nd International Conference on Sentencing and Society
  • Spohn, Cassia. Motivational Themes in Sexual Assault Cases. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology
  • Spohn, Cassia. Prosecuting Sexual Assault: A Comparison of Charging Decisions in Sexual Assault Cases Involving Strangers, Acquaintances, and Intimate Partners. National Institute of Justice Research Conference on Violence Against Women and Family Violence
  • Spohn, Cassia. Recidivism Rates among Felony Probationers: A Comparison of Drug and Non-Drug Offenders. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Science
  • Spohn, Cassia, Holleran, David. The Effect of Imprisonment on Recidivism Rates of Felony Offenders: A Focus on Drug Offenders. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology
  • Spohn, Cassia, Kautt, Paula. Crack-ing down on Black Drug Offenders?: Testing for Interactions between Offender Race, Drug Type, and Sentencing Strategy in Federal Drug Sentences. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology
  • Spohn, Cassia, Beichner, Dawn. Prosecutorial Justifications for Sexual Assault Case Rejection. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology
  • Spohn, Cassia, Beichner, Dawn. Sexual Assault Charging Decisions in Three Jurisdictions: Does a Specialized Charging Unit Make a Difference?. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology
  • Spohn, Cassia, Holleran, David. Sentencing Differences among Individual Judges: Another Look at the Focal Concerns Perspective. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology
  • Spohn, Cassia. Charging and Sentencing Decisions in Three U.S. District Courts: The Irrelevance of Relevant Conduct. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology
  • Spohn, Cassia. The Deterrent Effect of Imprisonment and Offenders’ Stakes in Conformity.
  • Spohn, Cassia, Beichner, Dawn. Arrest for Sexual Assault: A Test of Donald Black’s Relational Distance Theory. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology
  • Spohn, Cassia, Maddan, Sean, Hartley, Richard. Sentencing Data and the Focal Concerns Perspective. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology
  • Spohn, Cassia. Reforming the Reform: Sentencing in the Twenty-First Century. Race and Sentencing Decisions
  • Spohn, Cassia. Sentencing Decisions in Three U.S. District Courts: Testing the Assumption of National Uniformity in Sentencing.
  • Spohn, Cassia, Anderson, Amy. Lawlessness in the Federal Sentencing Process? A Test for Inter-Judge Disparity in Sentencing.
  • Spohn, Cassia, Harrington, Michael. Do Race, Age, and Sex Matter in Sentencing Decisions? Use of the Total Incarceration Variable in a Non-Guideline Jurisdiction.
  • Spohn, Cassia, Keller, Elizabeth. Explaining the Racial Disproportionality in Commitments to Nebraska’s Prisons. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
  • Spohn, Cassia, Keller, Elizabeth. U.S. Attorneys and the Federal Sentencing Process: A Test for Inter-Prosecutor Disparity.
  • Spohn, Cassia, Kolakowski, Kimberly. Race, Gender, Age and Pretrial Decision Making.
  • Spohn, Cassia, Stacey, Ann. The Effects of Marital Status and Dependent Children on Sentencing of Female and Male Offenders Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
  • Spohn, Cassia, Wu, JawJeong. Inter-District Disparity in Sentencing in Three U.S. District Courts.
  • Spohn, Cassia, Brennan, Pauline, Anderson, Amy. Sentences Given to Convicted Drug Offenders: Race, Social Class, and Place of Residence as Extralegal Consideration.
  • Spohn, Cassia, Sample, Lisa. The Dangerous Drug Offender in Federal Court: Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Culpability.
  • Spohn, Cassia, Tellis, Katharine. The Sexual Stratification Hypothesis Revisited: Testing Assumptions about Simple Versus Aggravated Rape.