Again and again the data show that people of color in the U.S. are disproportionately, and systematically, stopped, frisked, arrested, and exposed to the use of force by police. Police departments and communities across the U.S. are struggling with these realities and with what has become a glaring divide in how Americans experience and relate to policing. This special collection includes research from nonprofits, foundations, and university based research centers, who have not only described and documented the issue but who also provide much-needed recommendations for addressing this chronic and tragic problem.

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Improving Fairness and Addressing Racial Disparities in the Delaware Criminal Justice System

September 1, 2015

This memorandum summarizes existing scholarly research on police stops; pretrial detention; charging, plea bargaining, and sentencing; and alternatives to incarceration. For each topic, the memo surveys the extent to which each of these contributes to racial disparities as well as inaccuracies in criminal justice; identifies reforms that have worked elsewhere to ameliorate these problems; and considers the extent to which these reforms are compatible with preserving and improving public safety. The memorandum concludes with a brief discussion of recent scholarship that both highlights larger social factors that contribute to disparity and identifies programs and initiatives outside of the criminal justice system that might reduce racial disparities within the system.

Racial Bias & Profiling; Reform Strategies; Traffic Stops