Dean Chanenson is Chair of PA Commission on Sentencing
Steven Chanenson, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law, recently became Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing. A leader in the field of criminal sentencing, Dean Chanenson is currently the longest serving Member of the Commission, having been appointed by three different Governors since 2002.
”It is an honor to serve as the Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing,” said Dean Chanenson. “The Commission is a key player working to improve justice and public safety in the Commonwealth. Comprised of judges, lawyers, legislators, and executive branch policy makers like the Secretary of Corrections and the Chair of the Parole Board, the Commission truly sits at the crossroads of the Pennsylvania criminal justice system.”
In addition to his administrative role, Dean Chanenson teaches courses in Criminal Law, Corporate and White-Collar Crime, and Sentencing and Punishment. He is also director and founder of the annual Villanova Sentencing Workshop, which brings together students, sitting Pennsylvania Common Pleas judges, members of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, and prosecution and defense attorneys to discuss sentencing policy through the lens of pre-screened and redacted real cases that judges found difficult to sentence.
Created in 1978 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the Commission on Sentencing is charged with creating and maintaining a consistent and rational statewide sentencing policy through the adoption of guidelines that promote fairer and more uniform sentencing throughout the Commonwealth. In 2008, additional legislative mandates directed the Commission to develop resentencing guidelines, state and county parole guidelines, and state recommitment ranges, which enhance accountability and transparency while more closely align state and county parole procedures. The Commission collects data and information to systematically monitor and report on conformity to guidelines, advises and consults on policy and practices, and undertakes research and evaluation to determine the effectiveness of guidelines.