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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Racial and Ethnic Disparities throughout the Criminal Legal System: A Result of Racist Policies and Discretionary Practices

August 17, 2021

Throughout history, the US has created laws that have discriminated against people of color, and as a result, examples of differential treatment on the basis of race can be found throughout the criminal legal system. This brief aims to provide a comprehensive overview of racial disparities at each level of the criminal legal system and highlight how each decision point of the system impacts the next, resulting in continuous, disparate outcomes for people of color. Our findings suggest that in order to address these disparities, researchers must approach their work with appropriately contextualized research questions and an understanding of the language they use. Additionally, researchers should frame reported statistics with the appropriate historical setting, and actively approach research through community engaged methods.

Protecting Against Police Brutality and Official Misconduct: A New Federal Criminal Civil Rights Framework

April 29, 2021

Congress should make structural changes to our laws to help protect the civil rights of all people. If passed, the legislation recommended in this report would impact how law enforcement, corrections, and other public officials operate nationwide. By more specifically defining what actions violate civil rights, the law would put officials on clearer notice of what is forbidden.

Oakland is Reimagining Public Safety Version 2.0

March 1, 2021

On Friday, February 12th, 2021, Oakland's Reimagining Public Safety Task Forceissued their first round of draft recommendations that will forge a new path towardholistic and community driven public safety practices and policies in Oakland. Following a discussion and revision process, the Task Force's Advisory Boardsreleased their second — and final — round of recommendations on March 1, 2021. This report breaks down all the recommendations we support, the ones we don't, and why. We also look atpotential revenue streams to pay for these shifts in practice and new community safety programs, analyze OPD calls for service data in a brand new APTP report, and highlight work already happening at the grassroots level that needs more investment. 

Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice Outcomes: Lessons from California’s Recent Reforms

February 17, 2021

The recent protests and civil unrest that marked the death of George Floyd and other African Americans in police custody gave voice to real and significant racial disparities in our criminal justice system. In California, like the rest of the nation, these disparities—especially those between African Americans and whites—are large and widespread. Encouragingly, some recent reforms appear to be making headway in reducing racial and ethnic differences in arrest, booking, and incarceration rates.

The State of Black Girls in New York State Issue Brief I: Policing and Arraignments

February 1, 2021

The Police STAT Act was signed into law on June 15, 2020 intending to bring transparency to patterns of discriminatory policing. As updated on January 6, 2021, there were 1,832 arraignments of youth gendered female and aged 14 to 24 across the state during that time. New York City represented 36% of girls' arraignments but represents roughly 42% of the state's population. The dataset includes over $34,000 in fines, fees, and surcharges for these young girls – extracting resources from girls and families during a pandemic and economic crisis.

Open Data for Racial Equity: A Briefing Paper on Policing Data

January 1, 2021

Oversight, accountability, and transparency are central to proposals for police reform - and those goals depend on releasing complete, accurate, and unbiased data about criminal justice. This Briefing Paper assesses the data we have and identifies the data we need to achieve real reform. Beyond police reform, CODE believes that historical and current data can be a critical tool to advance the cause of racial equity by mapping the status of different issues, providing use cases for data analysis, and identifying challenges to be addressed.

Ten Key Facts About Policing: Highlights from Our Work

June 5, 2020

Many of the worst features of mass incarceration — such as racial disparities in prisons — can be traced back to policing. Our research on the policies that impact justice-involved and incarcerated people therefore often intersects with policing issues. Now, at a time when police practices, budgets, and roles in society are at the center of the national conversation about criminal justice, we have compiled our key work related to policing (and our discussions of other researchers' work) in one briefing.

Bars to Care: A Comparison of County Spending on Mental Health Services vs. Local Jails in 2019

March 4, 2020

On January 1st, New York's new bail reform law went into effect. This law, fought for by communities across the state, was designed to reduce the number of people and families harmed by pretrial incarceration, protect the constitutional right to the presumption of innocence, and address the criminalization of poverty and of Black and brown communities.Before the passage of bail reform, New York's fifty-seven counties outside of New York City spent $705.5 million jailing legally innocent people each year.This system of mass pretrial incarceration coerced plea deals and destabilized individuals who were often in dire needof support, not pretrial punishment. By some estimates as many as 84% of people in New York jails had a substance use disorder or mental illness. National surveys show that 20% of people incarcerated in local jails have a "serious mental illness" like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Without bail reform, New York's local jails would have continued to function as warehouses for people failed by social services and social policy, including people struggling with mental health needs, substance use, and homelessness.Bail reform is already working. Each day, there are 6,000 fewer people incarcerated pretrial in New York's local jails.Thousands of people can thus return to their families and receive the treatment and care they need as they await their date in court. With the state budget deadline fast approaching, this is a critical moment for New York's legislature to protect the new law from regressive changes, and instead commit to shifting resources to the services - education, healthcare, mental healthcare, and housing - that keep communities safe and thriving. To do so, we must re-examine the staggering sums counties have historically spent on jailing compared to community-based resources.

Bail & Pretrial Reform; Defunding, Abolition, & Alternatives to Policing

Policy Brief: School Policing Disparities for Black Girls

January 1, 2020

During the 2018-2019 school year, there were 4,560 police interventions targeting girls in New York City public schools reported by the NYPD through the Student Safety Act – Black girls represented 57% of all interventions, while representing only 25% of all girls.

Eyes on 2020: New York Bail Reform Accountability and Implementation

December 19, 2019

Ahead of new statewide bail reform legislation taking effect on January 1, 2020, this publication from our collaborative prosecutorial accountability project, Court Watch NYC, highlights the importance of the reforms and the work left to be done, provides examples from court illustrating how prosecutors are already attempting to subvert the law, and why we'll be watching to hold them accountable in the new year.

Community Voices: A Participatory Approach for Measuring Resident Perceptions of Police and Policing

May 24, 2018

Community Voices, a participatory research project, aimed to change the ways residents are heard and police are held accountable. The central tenet of the project was that creating an authentic representation of community sentiment towards the police has the capacity to reshape power dynamics between law enforcement and marginalized communities. This brief provides an overview of the pilot of Community Voices in Austin, Texas, discusses its impact, and includes attachments that provide more extensive details about the findings and related products.

Student Safety Act Reporting 2017 in Review

April 26, 2018

The Student Safety Act (SSA) requires that the New York City Police Department publically issue quarterly reports on arrests, summonses, and other police-involved incidents in New York City public schools.i The 2017 calendar year is the second year in which the NYPD reported on activity in schools by officers outside of the School Safety Division, giving a more complete picture of the impact police have on the educational environment. iiSince 2012, the number of arrests and summonses issued by School Safety Officers (SSOs) has consistently declined. In 2017, SS0s were responsible for less than 15% of arrests and 2% of summonses. However, the vast majority of police interactions with students in school are not with the school safety officers specially trained to work with youth in schools, but with other law enforcement officials, including armed patrol officers. In addition, 366 arrests (29% of total arrests in schools) were for incidents that occured off school grounds and had no relationship to the school, indicating that police may be using schools as a place to locate and arrest young people for non-school related offenses. This practice sends the harmful message that kids in trouble should stay away from school.The School Safety Division has made a significant effort to reduce the use of summonses for non-criminal offenses. In 2017 they issued just 18 summonses, down from 1,275 in 2012. Summonses for disorderly conduct, including unreasonable noise, fighting and obscene language, are not an appropriate response to student misbehavior. However, precinct officers are not required to follow the same procedures as the School Safety Division, and officers issued nearly 900 summonses, sending children into the criminal justice system for misbehavior.Black and Latino students continue to bear the burden of arrests, summonses, and police interactions in school, and the city has failed its responsibility to reduce the racial disparities in its school safety program. Black and Latino students represent 66.9 % of the student body, but 90.2% of arrests and 89.3% of summonses in school. They also accounted for 88.4% of child-in-crisis incidents, 87.9% of juvenile reports, and 89.5% of mitigated incidents. Students of color were also more likely than white students to be handcuffed for school misbehavior, even where there is no criminal activity. Black and Latino students accounted for 92.5% of juvenile reports and 94.4% of mitigated incidents where handcuffs were used, as well as 93.4% of child-in-crisis incidents where handcuffs were used.

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