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Professor Douglas Berman receives Richard P. Kern Memorial Award

August 29, 2018 | Faculty

Professor Doug Berman, Newton D. Baker-Baker & Hostetler Chair in Law and head of The Ohio State University Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC), was awarded the Richard P. Kern Memorial Award at the annual National Association of Sentencing Commissions (NASC) conference held in Columbus in August.

Berman, an expert in criminal law and sentencing, was honored for his ongoing work to educate students and legal professionals alike about sentencing reform and criminal justice reform. His blog, Sentencing Law and Policy, which garners nearly 100,000-page views a month, has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court (the first blog cited by the high court), in addition to a variety of federal circuit court opinions and federal district court opinions. National and state policymakers, sentencing commissioners, and various public policy groups around the country often seek his expertise as well.

Berman is also a leading expert on drug enforcement and drug policy reform. Under his guidance, DEPC—formed with a $4.5 million gift from the Charles Koch Foundation—will study the effects of the war on drugs and will promote independent, evidence-based research, education, community outreach, and public engagement on issues surrounding drug enforcement and reform, including the opioid crisis and efforts across the country to legalize medical and recreational cannabis. DEPC is a joint effort between the college, the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and the College of Social Work.

The Richard P. Kern Memorial award was established in 2012 in honor of Dr. Rick Kern, a longstanding advocate and respected expert on sentencing reform. Kern directed the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission from 1994 to his death in 2011. He also directed the Virginia Criminal Justice Research Center and served as research director of the Governor’s Commission on Parole Abolition and Sentence Reform.