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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Expanding Public Safety in the Era of Black Lives Matter

May 13, 2016

The narrative of "Black Lives Matter" offers a new framework for policymakers, activists, practitioners, and other stakeholders to think about a public safety strategy that is not solely defined by arrests and admissions to prison. This essay provides an overview of evidence-based approaches for public safety interventions that exist outside of law enforcement interactions.

Reform Strategies

Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequity in the Criminal Justice System

February 1, 2015

This briefing paper identifies four key features of the justice system that contribute to its disparate racial impact, and presents recent best practices for targeting these inequities drawn from adult and juvenile justice systems around the country. In many cases, these practices have produced demonstrable results.

Racial Bias & Profiling; Reform Strategies

Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies

September 3, 2014

To guide and give greater momentum to recent calls for reform, this report examines a key driving force of criminal justice outcomes: racial perceptions of crime. A complex set of factors contributes to the severity and selectivity of punishment in the United States, including public concern about crime and racial differences in crime rates. This report synthesizes two decades of research establishing that skewed racial perceptions of crime – particularly, white Americans' strong associations of crime with racial minorities – have bolstered harsh and biased criminal justice policies.

Perceptions of Policing

Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System

May 1, 2014

Racial and ethnic disparities weaken the credibility of a justice system that purports to treat everyone equitably. Across the country, juvenile justice systems are marked by disparate racial outcomes at every stage of the process, starting with more frequent arrests for youth of color and ending with more frequent secure placement.This briefing paper explains how disproportionate minority contact (DMC) with the juvenile justice system is measured and takes a close look at drug offenses, property crimes, and status offenses.

Policing Youth of Color

Report of The Sentencing Project to the United Nations Human Rights Committee Regarding Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System

August 1, 2013

This report chronicles the racial disparity that permeates every stage of the United States criminal justice system, from arrest to trial to sentencing. In particular, the report highlights the influence of implicit racial bias and recounts the findings of the burgeoning scholarship on the role of such bias in the criminal justice system. The report then details the ways in which the Supreme Court of the United States has curtailed potential remedies by discounting the importance of implicit bias and requiring that intentional discrimination be proven in constitutional challenges. Finally, the report offers recommendations on ways that federal, state, and local officials in the United States can work to eliminate racial disparity in the criminal justice system and uphold its obligations under the Covenant.

Racial Bias & Profiling; Reform Strategies