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Racial Disparity Publications
October 2014 Incorporating Racial Equity into Criminal Justice Reform

There are few areas of American society where racial disparities are as profound and as troubling as in the criminal justice system. This briefing paper provides an overview of racial disparities in the criminal justice system and a framework for developing and implementing remedies for these disparities. We first describe the rationale for incorporating racial equity as a goal of an overall criminal justice reform strategy. Next, we document trends in racial disparity and assess the various causal factors that have produced these outcomes. Finally, we identify a selection of best practices for addressing disparities, along with recommendations for implementation, and provide a guide for establishing rigorous metrics for success.

Authors: Marc Mauer and Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D.
Issue Area(s): Sentencing Policy, Incarceration, Racial Disparity, Drug Policy, Women, Collateral Consequences, Juvenile Justice

September 2014 Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies

This report examines how racial perceptions of crime are a key cause of the severity of punishment in the United States. Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies, authored by Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D., research analyst at The Sentencing Project, synthesizes two decades of research revealing that white Americans’ strong associations of crime with blacks and Latinos are related to their support for punitive policies that disproportionately impact people of color.

Coming on the heels of the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri, the report demonstrates that the consequences of white Americans’ strong associations of crime with blacks and Latinos extend far beyond policing.

Author: Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D.
Issue Area(s): Incarceration, Sentencing Policy, Racial Disparity, Drug Policy, Juvenile Justice

July 2014 Fewer Prisoners, Less Crime: A Tale of Three States

In this report, The Sentencing Project that examines the potential for substantial prison population reductions. Fewer Prisoners, Less Crime: A Tale of Three States profiles the experiences of three states – New York, New Jersey, and California – that have reduced their prison populations by about 25% while seeing their crime rates generally decline at a faster pace than the national average.

Author: Marc Mauer, Nazgol Ghandnoosh
Issue Area(s): Sentencing Policy, Incarceration, Racial Disparity, Drug Policy, Women