Shi Yan

Shi Yan
Arizona State University | ASU · School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Doctor of Philosophy

About

15
Publications
2,512
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89
Citations
Introduction
Shi Yan currently works at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University. His research focuses on sentencing and plea bargaining, as well as measurement issues related to data on criminal justice. Recently, he is also working on projects that examine key criminal career properties, as well as risk factors associated with crimes and delinquent behaviors. He is specialized in the analysis of large, administrative datasets on crimes and case processing.
Additional affiliations
August 2016 - present
Arizona State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
August 2011 - August 2016
August 2010 - May 2013
September 2004 - July 2008
Peking University
Field of study
  • Law

Publications

Publications (15)
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The U.S. prison population has fallen 15% overall, 28% for Blacks, and 21% for Hispanics since the Great Recession began. These trends occurred despite rising defendant criminal histories and the continued presence of the punitive policies that drove “mass incarceration.” We test the central hypothesis that court actors employed several...
Article
Full-text available
Legal and qualitative studies have highlighted that courtroom actors consider multiple aspects of criminal records. However, most quantitative studies on sentencing only included the number of prior convictions or arrests, with little attention to the seriousness trends of those priors. Taking stock from studies on criminal careers, we used group-b...
Article
Full-text available
Objective The increasing availability of large administrative datasets has led to an exciting innovation in criminal justice research—using administrative data to measure experimental outcomes in lieu of costly primary data collection. We demonstrate that this type of randomized experiment can have an unfortunate consequence: the destruction of sta...
Article
Full-text available
The predominant theories on courtroom decision-making explain extralegal disparities with the courtroom actors’ use of stereotypes. We conducted a vignette study on a sample of judges at the Chinese National Judges College, manipulated the sex of the defendant in each vignette, then asked the subjects for the recommended sentence. The survey also c...
Article
This study explores the relationship between participation in the National School Lunch Program and youth cigarettes use. Further, this study examines how this relationship differs across racial/ethnic groups. The 2016 Arizona Youth Survey (n=34,373) data and multivariate logistic regression was used. Results showed that free lunch participation wa...
Article
Full-text available
Over 95% of criminal convictions in the United States are the result of guilty pleas. Consequently, it is critical that we ensure the process of pleading guilty is as free of coercion as possible. Yet, research has indicated that incarcerating defendants to await trial could have an undue influence on their decision to plead guilty. The current res...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Substance use among youth often involves multiple types of substances. Little is known about how the use of common, lower-risk substances (e.g., alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana) co-occur with the less common and higher-risk substances (e.g., opioids and methamphetamine). Objectives: This study aims to identify distinctive substances use...
Article
Full-text available
Defendants who plead guilty receive less harsh sentences than those convicted at trial. Theories suggest that the magnitude of the plea discount reflects local courtroom norms, and also guides the behavior of defendants. The testing of theories on plea bargaining relies on credible estimates of the size of the plea discount. This study found that p...
Chapter
There is a general consensus that defendants who plead guilty receive less harsh sentences than those convicted at trial. However, there is much less consensus on the magnitude of the difference between the sentences imposed at trial and at plea. Theories from legal and criminal justice research have highlighted the importance of the size of the pl...
Article
Full-text available
There is a consensus that defendants who plead guilty generally receive less harsh sentences than similarly-situated defendants convicted at trial. However, there is less consensus on how to characterize this disparity in the sentence. Some researchers refer to the disparities as “trial penalties,” whereas others refer to them as “plea discounts.”...
Article
Full-text available
Theories of sentencing have pointed out the association between the sentence and the courtroom workgroup’s joint assessment of defendants’ risk and culpability. One of the most important indicators of risk and culpability is prior criminal records. Types of crimes and pattern of prior criminal events are an important part of the legal discourse aro...
Article
Full-text available
The influence on confession evidence in trials is quite strong; triers of fact who hear confession evidence find these self-incriminating statements hard to ignore and in turn, vote to convict more often. However, most cases do not see the inside of a courtroom, but rather are resolved via plea bargains. In the present study, we examined how confes...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Most existing studies of sentencing focus on the decision of whether or not to incarcerate a convicted individual. However, many cases do not involve incarceration, and there is a considerable amount of freedom to mete out alternative sanctions as part of a sentencing decision. This study addresses this gap in the literature by investiga...
Article
Research SummaryIn this study, we use a novel application of group-based trajectory modeling to estimate pathways to prison for a sample of 13,769 first-time prison inmates in New York State. We found that 12% of the sample was heavily involved in the criminal justice system for 10 years prior to their first imprisonment. We also found that less th...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Examine how the measurement of key concepts impact substantive findings.
Project
To investigate plea bargaining outcomes, sentences, and their association with major risk factors.