NCCD Report Documents Justice Racial Disparity


A report by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency documents what the authors call “disproportionate minority contact” (DMC) in the America criminal justice system. NCCD notes that while African Americans make up 13% of the US population, they constitute 28% of all arrests, 40% of all inmates held in prisons and jails, and 42% of the population on death row. In contrast, whites make up 67% of the total US population and 70% of all arrests, yet only 40% of all inmates held in state prisons or local jails and 56% of the population on death row.

The research was conducted for the Oakland-based NCCD by Christopher Hartney and Linh Vuong. They cite various causes for the racial disparity, including differential policing policies and practices, sentencing laws and racial bias. The report presents data on DMC in arrests, court processing and sentencing, new admissions and ongoing populations in prison and jails, probation and parole, capital punishment, and recidivism. At each of these stages, persons of color, particularly African Americans, are more likely to receive less favorable results than their white counterparts, Hartney and Vuong write. The weblink connects to a pdf version of the report.

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