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Research Areas: Law & Politics



  • California Election Data Archive (CEDA)
    • CEDA is a joint project of the Center for California Studies, the ISR and the Office of the California Secretary of State. The purpose of CEDA is to provide researchers, citizens, public agencies and other interested parties with a single repository of local election data. CEDA summarizes candidate and ballot measure results for county, city, community college and school district elections in three separate reports that have been published annually since 1995. To view a video describing CEDA (includes accompanying transcript) produced by Sacramento State, please click click here. Links to previous years' reports, written summaries of results and trends, summary tables, and raw data can be found by clicking here: CEDA Reports.
  • Civic Engagement and Municipal Fiscal Health Survey - CCS (2013)
    • In partnership with Sacramento State’s Center for California Studies (CCS), ISR conducted a statewide survey to study the relationship between public civic engagement and local fiscal attitudes. Results reveal that Californians are considerably more active in local politics than they are informed when it comes to issues regarding local taxing and spending, which raises some questions about the role of representative democracy in fiscal governance. Click here to view the final report.
    • View the article posted here in the Sac State News section.
  • California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) DUI Conviction Rate Project (2010)
    • This project was conducted for the DMV to help them learn more about factors related to DUI conviction rates and why conviction rates vary so much across California counties. Our research analysts traveled throughout California interviewing judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys who adjudicate and try DUI cases. The semi-structured, in-person interviews contained questions on topics such as workload, law enforcement practices, experience, training, media, grass roots organizations, and defense and prosecution strategies. This qualitative data was used to supplement quantitative research results generated in 2009 on the same issues.
  • Language Need and Interpreter Use Study (2010)
    • The 2010 Language Need and Interpreter Use Study was conducted to evaluate spoken language need and interpreter use in California’s trial courts. On behalf of the Judicial Council of California’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the ISR designed the legislatively mandated study to accomplish three specific objectives. First, the study utilized data collected from the courts from 2004 through 2008 to provide a descriptive overview of actual language use in California Superior courts. Second, U.S. Census’ Annual American Community Survey (ACS) data were used to illustrate immigration and language proficiency trends in California. Third, court data on actual interpreter use and ACS trend data on immigration and language proficiency were used to make recommendations regarding the designation or de-designation of spoken languages for the formal court interpreter certification process. As an additional component of the study, the AOC asked ISR researchers to collect court and census data to describe the courts’ use of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. (Report)
  • Evaluation of the Sacramento County Probation Department Adult Drug Court Treatment Center (2008)
    • The Sacramento Adult Drug Court is part of a nationwide movement of innovation in court systems in the approach to certain types of crime. The first drug court opened in Dade County, Florida in 1989. Since then, the approach has spread throughout the country, spawning new types of “problem-solving” courts along the way. Partly a response to a growing prison population, and also to the perceived link between drug addiction and the development and continuation of other criminal behaviors, drug courts seek to break the recurring cycle by moving away from the traditional adversarial model toward a therapeutic model in which the court takes an active role in the attempt to help offenders get on the path to recovery. Drug court approaches have been shown not only to provide reductions in cost relative to incarceration, but to lower recidivism rates as well. The Sacramento Adult Drug Court has been in operation since 1995. In 2008, the Sacramento County Probation Department contracted with the ISR to begin conducting the state-mandated program reviews of the Drug Court, starting with a report on the 2006 and 2007 calendar years. The first report provided a basic description of program services, client population served, and treatment outcomes. In subsequent reports, a more in-depth analysis of drug court processes was added in order to provide detailed feedback on program implementation and specific treatment components.
  • Survey of Job Satisfaction and Stress Among Sacramento's Corrections and Patrol Officers (2003)
    • Funded by a National Institute of Justice and Law Enforcement Family Support Grant, this study explored differences in job-related stress and job satisfaction among corrections officers, patrol officers and detectives in Sacramento county. The ISR, cooperating with the Sacramento County Depurt Sheriff's Association and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, held a series of focus groups and conducted mail surveys that addressed varying measures of job stess and satisfaction. (Report)
  • Sacramento Police Department’s Community Policing Coordination and Development Project (2000)
    • The National Institute of Justice funded an evaluation of the Sacramento Police Depatment's Community Policing Coordination and Development Project. The ISR was contracted to perform an evaluation of the effects of changes in communication, organizational structure, deployment and automation.