Dr. Richard "Rick" Kern

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December 13, 2011

Dr. Richard "Rick" Kern, 58, of Richmond, Va., died Tuesday in Richmond after a 14 year battle with cancer.

Born in Mahanoy City, he was a son of the late William and Mary Kern.

Dr. Kern, at the time of his death, was the director of the Virginia Sentencing Commission.

He was a graduate of Mahanoy Area, Class of 1971, and held Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Criminology from Florida State University and his undergraduate from King's College, Wilkes-Barre.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell called Dr. Kern "a devoted public servant and leading criminologist today who was nationally and internationally known for his work in offender recidivism and risk assessment. He left a lasting legacy on Virginia's criminal justice system, having led in the development of the truth in sentencing laws when Virginia abolished parole in 1994."

McDonnell went on to say "Dr. Kern was well respected by his colleagues around the world, public safety professionals, the judiciary, attorneys, members of legislature and his staff. As a result of Dr. Kern's years of dedication to the criminal jus- tice system, Virginia has become a model for other states when developing criminal sentencing laws, sentencing guidelines and evaluating offender rehabilitation programs. He called his contributions to public safety in Virginia will have a lasting impact on generations to come."

Surviving are his wife, Denise; daughters, Jillian and Jessica; son, Justin, Richmond; twin brothers William and his wife, Suzanne, Branchdale, George and his fiancee, Peggy Landis, Lancaster; sister, Mary Therese Bernadyn and husband, John, Frackville. Also surviving are his mother-in-law, Ann Boris, Wilkes-Barre; five brothers-in-law.

Funeral services were held on Friday in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond, Va.

Published in Republican & Herald on Dec. 18, 2011
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