Writing in the Oregon Statesman Journal, The Sentencing Project’s Senior Research Analyst Ashley Nellis and Bobbin Singh, Executive Director of the Oregon Justice Resource Center, urge Oregon policymakers to take action to address the racial disparities in the state criminal justice system.
A recent report published by The Sentencing Project found that African Americans are incarcerated by the states at five times the rate of whites across the nation. In Oregon, the ratio is slightly higher: 5.6 to 1. In fact, in Oregon in 2014, 1 in 21 of all African American adult males was in prison. Oregon has the seventh-highest incarceration rate of African Americans in the nation.
Moving forward, we must first accept that our system discriminates, and then aggressively implement policies that articulate measurable goals to address discrimination by our criminal justice system. Leadership in each of the counties — most important, the district attorneys — must take personal responsibility for fixing the problem.
Read the full commentary at the Statesman Journal.