CJS Seminar: Jakub Drápal
Virtual Event - Zoom
Wed 29 March 2023
The dominance of suspended prison sentences in post-communist Europe: Causes, consequences and pitfalls
Dr Jakub Drápal, Principle Investigator, Institute for State and Law Czech Academy of Sciences and Assistant at the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic to judge Kateřina Šimáčková
About the event
Suspension of a prison sentence was originally construed as an exceptional measure to be applied when very short prison sentences were imposed. They have since come to dominate the criminal justice system, affecting two-thirds of offenders in Czechia. In this presentation, data on sentence imposition since 1913 will be presented to document causes of these increases. Gradually, longer prison sentences were enabled to be suspended and became regularly suspended. However, the suspension of ever-longer prison sentences came with a price: sentence inflation, which in turn led to a lower recall rate - empirical evidence will be presented for both of these problems. These issues have resulted in disproportionate and overly-long prison sentences being served. A re-imagination of suspended prison sentences is necessary to remedy this problem.
About the speaker
Jakub Drápal is a sentencing scholar focusing on post-communist European countries using (primarily) quantitative methods. Currently, he is a primary investigator of two projects studying suspended prison sentences in post-communist Europe and their effectiveness. He is a researcher at the Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University; since 2023 he holds a post-doctoral position at the Leiden University.
This event will take place on Zoom, please register online.
This event is part of the Crime, Justice & Society Seminar Series.