Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Justice Policy Institute - New Report: Racial Disparity By County

This is being released on Tuesday. CCJRC will have our own press release based on how this report has been impacted by Colorado.

Groundbreaking Study Examines Drug Imprisonment in 198 Counties;

97 Percent Experienced Racial Disparities

WASHINGTON—A new report released today by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) finds that 97 percent of the nation’s large-population counties imprisoned African Americans at a higher rate than whites. The report documents racial disparities in the use of prison for drug offenses in 193 of the 198 counties that reported to government entities.
The Vortex: The Concentrated Racial Impact of Drug Imprisonment and the Characteristics of Punitive Counties,” found that counties with higher poverty rates, larger African-American populations and larger police or judicial budgets imprison people for drug offenses at higher rates than counties without these characteristics. These relationships were found to be independent of whether the county actually had a higher rate of crime.
The Vortex is the first study to examine the relationships between these sociodemographic structures and the specific annual rate at which people are admitted to prison for drug offenses, and the first to localize the racially disparate impact of drug imprisonment at the county level.

Major findings include:

  • While tens of millions of people use illicit drugs, prison and policing responses to drug behavior have a concentrated impact on a subset of the population. In 2002, there were 19.5 million illicit drug users, 1.5 million drug arrests, and 175,000 people admitted to prison for a drug offense.
  • While African Americans and whites use and sell drugs at similar rates, African Americans are ten times more likely than whites to be imprisoned for drug offenses.
  • Of the 175,000 admitted to prison nationwide in 2002, over half were African American, despite the fact that African Americans make up less than 13 percent of the U.S. population.
  • There is no relationship between the rates at which people are sent to prison for drug offenses and the rates at which people use drugs in counties. For example, although Rockingham County, NH, has a larger percent of its population reporting illicit drug use, Jefferson Parish, LA, sent more people to prison for a drug offense at a rate 36 times that of Rockingham.
  • Higher county drug prison admission rates were associated with how much was spent on policing and the judicial system, higher poverty and unemployment rates, and the proportion of the county’s population that is African American.

Researchers attributed disparate policing practices, disparate treatment before the courts, mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws, and differences in the availability of drug treatment for African Americans compared with whites as reasons for the significant racial disparities seen in drug imprisonment rates.

“Laws—like drug laws—that are violated by a large percentage of the population are particularly prone to selective enforcement,” says Phillip Beatty, co-author of the study. “The reason African Americans are so disproportionately impacted may, in part, be related to social policy, the amount spent on law enforcement and judiciary systems, and local drug enforcement practices.”

While the report does not make detailed recommendations for counties, the authors suggest that policymakers consider reforming drug policies to include:

  • De-escalation of the “drug war.” Drug enforcement practices are focused in the African-American community, despite evidence that they are no more likely than their white counterparts to be engaged in drug use or drug delivery behaviors. Local, state and federal policymakers should closely examine racial disparities in local drug imprisonment rates that result from these practices, and consider alternative approaches to reducing drug use and sales.
  • Careful consideration of public safety funding. While policing and judicial expenditures need to be prioritized to help deal with violent crime, other ways to promote public safety would include investments in public health policies and services that reduce poverty and unemployment.
  • A shift to evidence-based drug enforcement practices. Reform drug enforcement practices, and collect data to analyze the fairness of local drug enforcement tactics and policies.

“Rather than focus law enforcement efforts on drug-involved people who bear little threat to public safety, we should free up local resources to fund treatment, job training, supportive housing, and other effective public safety strategies,” says Jason Ziedenberg, executive director of the Justice Policy Institute.

After December 4th, the report will be available on JPI’s website at www.justicepoilicy.org. For more information, contact LaWanda Johnson at 202/558-7974 ext. 308 or ljohnson@justicepolicy.org

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

 “胡一刀,曲池喝花酒,天樞!苗人鳳酒店喝酒 ,地倉,合谷!個嘶啞的嗓子低沉地叫暑假打工 著。叫聲中充滿著怨毒寒假打工 和憤怒,語聲從酒店小姐 牙齒縫中迸出來,似是酒店兼職 千年万年、永恒的咒禮服店 ,每一個字音上涂著血和仇恨。 突突突突四酒店經紀 聲響,四道金光酒店兼差,四枝金鏢連珠發出,射向兩塊木牌。木牌的酒店 正面反面都繪著一個全身人酒店經紀人 形,一塊上繪的是個濃髯粗豪的大漢,旁注“胡一刀”三字;另一塊上繪的是個瘦長漢子,旁注“苗人鳳”三字,人形上書明人体周身穴酒店現領。木牌下面接有一柄,兩個身手矯捷的壯漢各持一牌,在練武廳中滿廳游走東北角一張椅子中坐著酒店經紀爆米花個五十來歲的白發婆婆,口中喊著胡一刀或苗人鳳穴道的名稱。一個二十來歲的英俊少年勁裝結束,鏢囊中台北酒店經紀帶著十几枝金鏢,听得那婆婆喊出穴道名稱,右手打工揚,就是一道金光射出,釘向木牌。兩個持牌壯漢頭戴鋼絲罩子兼差上身穿了厚棉襖再罩牛皮背心,唯恐少年失了准頭,金鏢招呼到他們身上。兩人竄高伏低,酒店打工擺木牌,要讓他酒店上班不易打中。 大廳外的窗口,伏著一個少女假日打工一個青年漢子。兩人在窗紙上挖破了兩個小孔,各用台北酒店經紀右眼湊著向里偷窺。兩人見那少年身手不凡,發鏢甚准,不由酒店pt 互相對望了一眼,臉上酒店pt都露出訝异的神色。
  天空黑沉酒店應酬 沉的堆滿了烏云。大雨傾盆而下,夾著一陣陣的電閃雷轟,勢道嚇人粉味。黃豆大的雨點打在地下,直濺到窗外兩酒店經紀PRETTY GIRL少年男女酒店經濟 的身上。 們都身披油布雨衣,對廳上的事很感好奇酒店經濟再湊眼到窗洞上去看時,只听得那婆婆打工兼差道:“准頭還可將就,就是沒勁儿,今日酒店經紀就練到這里。”說著慢慢禮服店站起身來。