Racial Disparity News
June 23, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
Missouri Expands Eligibility for Food Stamps to Persons with Felony Drug Convictions
Missouri Governor Jay Neal has signed Senate Bill 680, which modifies the federal lifetime ban on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), for persons with felony drug convictions. Although the new law is a step in the right direction, it imposes a one-year waiting period after a conviction or release from custody.
June 16, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
Race & Justice News
Immigration: Tulsa Police: Local Immigration Enforcement Harms Public Safety
County Sheriffs End Immigration Detention, Fearing Liability
Public Opinion: Racial Divide in Perceptions of Washington State's Justice System
Books: Get a Job by Robert D. Crutchfield
On the Run by Alice Goffman
Juvenile Justice: Comprehensive Report on Improving School Discipline
Foundations Build on My Brother's Keeper Initiative
June 11, 2014 (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
The link between felon disenfranchisement, politics, and health
About 7.7% of voting age African Americans are currently prohibited from voting compared to 2.5% of the U.S. population. Pennsylvania is among the more progressive states in this regard; only current prisoners are prevented from casting ballots, with 2.5% of the state’s African Americans (0.6% of all races) disenfranchised, according to the Sentencing Project. When the analysis is limited to males, who are far more likely to be imprisoned, it finds that 13% of African American men are disenfranchised nationwide. An African American male born today has a 1-in-3 chance of being disenfranchised at some point in his life.
If a group of people can’t vote, the politicians who care about their health needs might be less likely to win elections.
June 3, 2014 (Huffington Post)
I Am My Brother's Keeper
An op-ed by Reverend Al Sharpton:
I could have easily been a statistic. Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, it was easy -- a little too easy -- to get into trouble. Surrounded by poor schools, lack of resources, high unemployment rates, poverty, gangs and more, I watched as many of my peers fell victim to a vicious cycle of diminished opportunities and imprisonment. If it weren't for the mentorship and guidance from people like my mother, James Brown and others, I wouldn't have been able to make something of my life.
June 2, 2014
California's Fair Sentencing Act to Equalize Penalties Advances
The Sentencing Project submitted a letter to California's Assembly Public Safety Committee in support of Senate Bill 1010. The proposed legislation has been approved by the state's Senate and would equalize penalties for crack and powder cocaine offenses. Sentences for intent-to-sell crack convictions range from three to five years in current state law, compared to two to four years for powder. Crack convictions in low-income communities and communities of color are more common because crack is cheaper than powder. SB 1010 would eliminate the difference in sentencing, probation and asset forfeiture rules for low level powder and crack cocaine offenses.