Racial Disparity News
February 3, 2015 (The Sentencing Project)
Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequity in the Criminal Justice System
A new publication from The Sentencing Project provides a comprehensive review of programs and policies across the nation and identifies a broad range of initiatives that can address racial disparities at all levels of the criminal justice system. Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequity in the Criminal Justice System highlights initiatives in more than 20 states designed to address the criminal justice system’s high rate of contact with people of color.
In the wake of the tragedies in Ferguson and other cities, excessive police contact has been identified as a major cause of the disproportionate rate of fatal police encounters for African Americans and Latinos. The report identifies four key features of the criminal justice system that produce racially unequal outcomes, beyond the conditions of socioeconomic inequality that contribute to higher rates of some crimes in marginalized communities, and showcases initiatives to abate these sources of inequity in adult and juvenile justice systems around the country.
January 27, 2015
Race and Justice News
International: Racial Disparities in Incarceration in UK and Australia Exceed Those in United States
Collateral Consequences: Jobseekers with Minor Arrest Records Face Employment Barriers
Criminal Records Produce Widespread Economic Barriers
Books: Bryan Stevenson: "Each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done"
Reforms: Justice Department Expands Rules Against Racial Profiling for Federal Law Enforcement, with Major Exceptions
January 21, 2015 (Associated Press)
First Racial-Impact Law Seen as Having Modest Effect in Iowa
After a 2007 report showed that Iowa had the nation's highest disparity for sending blacks to prison, state lawmakers took a novel step: They passed a law requiring analysts to draft "racial-impact statements" on any proposals to create new crimes or tougher penalties.
The governor at the time said the statements would be "an essential tool" to understand how minority communities might be affected before any votes are cast.
A review by The Associated Press shows that the first-in-the-nation law appears to be having a modest effect, helping to defeat some legislation that could have exacerbated disparities and providing a smoother path to passage for measures deemed neutral or beneficial to minorities.
January 15, 2015
Virginia: Governor restores voting rights of more than 5,100 formerly incarcerated individuals
Iowa: Task force fails to fix problems with database of ineligible voters
Minnesota: Minnesota Conversations: Felony Voting
Florida: State legislators and advocates propose automatic rights restoration
Kentucky: Bi-partisan support for voting rights bill in General Assembly
International: Nigerian court upholds the right of citizens in prison to vote in all elections
December 23, 2014 (The New York Times)
When Officers Die and Protests Get the Blame
In the days after Ismaaiyl Brinsley’s killings of two New York Police Department officers and the shooting of a Baltimore woman, some in positions of authority have linked the crimes to protests against police violence. But others believe this linkage misunderstands both Mr. Brinsley and the protests — and that such misunderstanding could have serious consequences.