Distinguished Former Student Passes Away

December 14, 2011

Filed Under: Alumni

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of one or our former students, Dr. Richard P. Kern on December 13, 2011 at the age of 58 after a long and valiant battle with cancer.  He was a graduate student in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice from 1975 to 1982, earning his Masters Degree in 1977 and Ph.D. in 1982.  Rick had a long and prestigious career in criminal justice research and policy in Virginia in the areas of sentencing guidelines, evaluating offender rehabilitation programs, and in the development of innovative ways to address repeat non-violent offenders. His commitment to the field of criminology is evidenced by his work for many years during his illness.

After earning his Ph.D., Rick began his career as the Director of the Virginia Statistical Analysis Center and then the Director of the Virginia Sentencing Commission for many years.  He was very active in the Justice Research and Statistics Association and was a past president.  His expertise in the area of innovative sentencing research and policy is evidenced by numerous invitations to be a guest lecturer at prestigious institutions like Harvard and Yale to name a few, and was invited to assist the Supreme Court of China in their efforts to implement sentencing guidelines.

Rick is survived by his wife Denise, who was instrumental in prolonging his life beyond what was medically imaginable, and three wonderful children, Jillian, Justin, and Jessica.

If you would like to send a card to Rick’s wife Denise and family, the address is 2316 Floyd Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23220.

William Bales

FSU Associate Professor, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice