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Reducing Racial Inequality in Crime and Justice Science, Practice, and Policy Committee on Reducing Racial Inequalities in the Criminal Justice System Bruce Western, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Yamrot Negussie, and Emily Backes, Editors Committee on Law and Justice Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Consensus Study Report
NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 This activity was supported by contracts between the National Academy of Sciences and Arnold Ventures (20-05123), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation No. INV-025407, The Joyce Foundation (SG-20-43354), National Academy of Sciences Cecil and Ida Green Fund, National Academy of Sciences W.K. Kellogg Fund, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (78590), Russell Sage Foundation (2010-28361), and William T. Grant Foundation (201726). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-69337-0 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309- 69337-3 Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/26705 Library of Congress Control Number: 2023930738 This publication is available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2023 by the National Academy of Sciences. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and National Academies Press and the graphical logos for each are all trademarks of the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Reducing Racial Inequality in Crime and Justice: Science, Practice, and Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi. org/10.17226/26705.
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COMMITTEE ON REDUCING RACIAL INEQUALTIES IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM KHALIL GIBRAN MUHAMMAD (Co-Chair), Harvard Kennedy School BRUCE WESTERN (Co-Chair), Columbia University DARYL ATKINSON, Forward Justice ROBERT D. CRUTCHFIELD, University of Washington RONALD L. DAVIS, 21CP Solutions, LLC (committee member through 9/22/2021) HONORABLE BERNICE DONALD, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit FRANCIS (FRANKIE) GUZMAN, National Center for Youth Law ELIZABETH HINTON, Yale University NIKKI JONES, University of California, Berkeley TRACEY MEARES, Yale University DEREK A. NEAL, University of Chicago STEVEN RAPHAEL, University of California, Berkeley NANCY RODRIGUEZ, University of California, Irvine ADDIE C. ROLNICK, University of Nevada, Las Vegas ROBERT J. SAMPSON, Harvard University JEFFREY SEDGWICK, Justice Research and Statistics Association MARÃA B. VÃLEZ, University of Maryland Study Staff YAMROT NEGUSSIE, Study Director ELLIE GRIMES, Research Associate DARA SHEFSKA, Communications Specialist (through March 2022) AARON WARNICK, Communications Specialist (from June 2022) STACEY SMIT, Program Coordinator EMILY P. BACKES, Deputy Board Director NATACHA BLAIN, Senior Board Director v
COMMITTEE ON LAW AND JUSTICE ROBERT D. CRUTCHFIELD (Chair), University of Washington (retired) SALLY S. SIMPSON (Vice Chair), University of Maryland ROD K. BRUNSON, University of Maryland SHAWN D. BUSHWAY, University at Albany PREETI CHAUHAN, John Jay College of Criminal Justice KIMBERLÃ W. CRENSHAW, University of California, Los Angeles MARK S. JOHNSON, Howard University CYNTHIA LUM, George Mason University JOHN M. MacDONALD, University of Pennsylvania KAREN J. MATHIS, American Bar Association (retired), University of Denver THEODORE A. McKEE, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia SAMUEL L. MYERS, JR., University of Minnesota EMILY OWENS, University of California, Irvine CYNTHIA RUDIN, Duke University WILLIAM J. SABOL, Georgia State University LINDA A. TEPLIN, Northwestern University Medical School Study Staff NATACHA BLAIN, Senior Board Director EMILY P. BACKES, Deputy Board Director STACEY SMIT, Program Coordinator YAMROT NEGUSSIE, Senior Program Officer ELLIE GRIMES, Research Associate vi
Acknowledgments This report would not have been possible without the contributions of many people. First, we thank the sponsors of this study: Arnold V Â entures, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, National ÂAcademy of Sciences Cecil and Ida Green Fund, National Academy of SÂ ciences W.K. Kellogg Fund, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Russell Sage ÂFoundation, and William T. Grant Foundation. Special thanks go to the members of the study committee, who dedi- cated extensive time, thought, and energy to the project on a compressed timeline under unprecedented conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to conducting systematic literature reviews and drawing from its own research and expertise, the committee received input from several outside sources, whose willingness to share their perspectives and experience was essential to the committeeâs work. The committee began its work with a series of public information-gathering sessions, where comÂ mittee members engaged with a diverse set of researchers, practitioners, and representatives directly impacted by the criminal justice system.1 The com- mittee and pÂ roject staff thank the many speakers and discussants who pro- vided research, data, and testimony to inform the committeeâs study process. The committee and project staff also thank the group of stakeÂ holders and officials who shared their practiced-based expertise: Nicole Banister (National Governors Association), Edwin Bell (National Center 1âFor more information on the committeeâs public information-gathering sessions, includÂing agendas and video recordings, see https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/reducing- racial-inequalities-in-the-criminal-justice-system vii
viii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS for State Courts), Michael Buenger (National Center for State Courts), Jae K. Davenport (Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security), Amanda Essex (National Conference of State Legislatures), Elizabeth Glazer ([former] Mayorâs Office of Criminal Justice, New York), Kalyn Hill ([former] National Governors Association), David Hureau (University at Albany), Jacquelyn Katuin (Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security), Alison Lawrence (National Conference of State Legislatures), Jeffrey Locke (National Governors Association), Brett Mattson (National Association of Counties), Karhlton Moore (Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services), Anne Teigen (National Conference of State Legislatures), and Andy Wilson (Office of Governor Mike DeWine, OH). To inform its report, the committee built on a synthesis of research on the social drivers of racial disparities in policing. The committee would like to thank Roland Neil (University of Pennsylvania) for contributing this valuable resource to the committeeâs process. The committee also elicited input from âlistening sessionsâ where per- spectives were shared regarding direct work with barriers and innovative solutions to reducing racial inequalities in the criminal justice system. The committee thanks the following individuals: Donald Anthonyson (Families for Freedom), Shelby Chestnut (Transgender Law Center), Currey Cook (Lambda Legal), Christina Gilbert (National Juvenile Defender Center), Annita Lucchesi (Sovereign Bodies Institute), Amber Miller (Yurok Tribal Court), Ravi Ragbir (New Sanctuary Coalition), Paromita Shah (Just ÂFutures Law), Sirine Shebaya (National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild), Jane Shim (Immigrant Defense Project) and, Toni-Michelle Williams (Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative). This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by indi- viduals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical com- ments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Amanda Y. Agan (Department of Economics and Program in Criminal Justice, Rutgers University), Phillip Atiba Goff (Department of African American Studies and Center for Policing Equity, Yale University), John M. MacDonald (Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania), Theodore A. McKee (United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia, PA), Daniel S. Nagin (H.J. Heinz School of Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University), Victor M. RÃos (Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara), Cassia Spohn (School
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University), Heather A. Thompson (Departments of Afro-American and African Studies and Department of History, University of Michigan), and Jeffery T. Ulmer (Criminal Justice Research Center, Pennsylvania State University). Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive com- ments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Bradford H. Gray (Urban Institute) and Anne Morrison Piehl (Rutgers University). They were respon- sible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies. The committee members were fortunate to have the additional research support from staff in their respective institutions and provide thanks to the following individuals: Teresita Cruz Vital (University of California, ÂBerkeley), Madison Dawkins (The Square One Project), Evie Lopoo (The Square One Project), Toryn Sperry (University of Maryland, College Park), and Caroline J. Zhai Lefever (Yale Law School). The committee also wishes to extend its gratitude to the staff of the National Academies, in particular to Yamrot Negussie for her expert direc- tion of this study from beginning to end as well as Emily Backes who made critical substantive contributions in the conception, writing, and editing of the report. Ellie Grimes provided essential coordination and research along- side writing support throughout the consensus study process. Stacey Smit provided key administrative and logistical support and ensured the commit- tee process ran efficiently and smoothly. Throughout the project, Natacha Blain, director of the Committee on Law and Justice, provided oversight. From the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, we thank Kirsten Sampson-Snyder, Douglas Sprunger, and Ron Warnick who shepherded the report through the review process and assisted with its communication and dissemination. Thanks are also due to Dara Shefska for her skilled contributions to the communications of the report and to Abigail Allen and Briana Smith for their fact-checking assistance. We also thank Marc DeFrancis for his skillful editing and Christopher Lao-Scott for providing research and fact-checking assistance. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Co-Chair Bruce Western, Co-Chair Yamrot Negussie, Study Director Committee on Reducing Racial IÂ nequalities in the Criminal Justice System
Contents Preface xxi Acronyms and Abbreviations xxvii Summary 1 1 Introduction 15 THE COMMITTEEâS CHARGE, 16 STUDY APPROACH, 17 COMMITTEE METHODOLOGY, 18 KEY TERMS AND CONCEPTS, 22 Race, 23 Racial Disparities and Inequality in Criminal Justice, 25 Structural Racism, 29 HISTORICAL ROOTS OF RACIAL INEQUALITY IN CRIME AND JUSTICE, 32 Colonial and Antebellum America, 32 The Civil War and Its Aftermath, 34 The Progressive Era to World War II, 36 THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN THE 21ST CENTURY, 38 ADDRESSING RACIAL INEQUALITIES THROUGH PUBLIC POLICY, 39 REPORT ORGANIZATION, 43 xi
xii CONTENTS 2 Racial Disparities in Victimization, Offending, and Involvement with the Criminal Justice System 45 VICTIMIZATION, 48 Property and Nonlethal Violent Crimes, 49 Homicide Victimization, 51 DIFFERENCES IN ARRESTS AND CRIMINAL OFFENDING, 56 Arrests, 58 Patterns of Offending by Race, 60 INTERACTIONS WITH POLICE OFFICERS, 66 Basic Patterns Regarding Stops, Searches, and Search ÂOutcomes, 67 Hit-Rate Analyses of Stops Involving Searches, 71 Uses of Force and Police-Involved Shootings, 75 Nature of Interactions between Police and the Public, 81 EVIDENCE CONCERNING PUBLIC SAFETY DELIVERY, 81 PRETRIAL DETENTION, 87 PLEA BARGAINING, TRIALS, AND SENTENCING, 90 SENTENCING AND CORRECTIONAL TRENDS, 91 EXECUTIONS, 93 COMMUNITY SUPERVISION, 96 SYNTHESIZING THE EVIDENCE, 106 CONCLUSION, 110 CHAPTER 2 APPENDIX FIGURES, 112 3 Social Drivers of Racial Inequalities in Crime and Justice 117 HISTORICAL LEGACIES, 119 CONTEMPORARY RACIAL INEQUALITIES, 121 CONCENTRATED DISADVANTAGE AND VIOLENCE, 123 Concentrated Disadvantage and Gun Violence: A Closer Look at Trends, 126 COMPOUNDED ADVERSITIES AND SOCIAL ÂMECHANISMS, 128 MODELING RACIAL GAPS IN CRIME, 131 RESEARCH GAPS, 135 CONCLUSION, 136 4 Criminal Justice Drivers of Racial Inequalities 139 CONCEPTUALIZING RACIAL INEQUALITY, 141 The Explained versus Unexplained Racial Differences ÂFramework, 142 Criminalization, 143
CONTENTS xiii THE FORMS AND EXPANSION OF RACIAL ÂCRIMINALIZATION, 148 CRIMINAL JUSTICE CONTACT AS CUMULATIVE ÂDISADVANTAGE, 152 Early Exposure to the Criminal Justice System, 153 Policing, 155 Racial Differences in Police Contacts, 156 Neighborhood Context, 158 Stops and Arrests, 161 Pretrial Decision Making and Charging, 162 Pretrial Release and Detention, 164 Plea, 165 Sentencing and Incarceration, 166 Conditions of Imprisonment, 169 The Consequences of Conviction and Incarceration, 177 Probation, Parole, and Supervision, 182 Legal Financial Obligations, 184 CONCLUSION, 184 5 Introduction to Part II 187 GUIDING PRINCIPLES TO REDUCE RACIAL INEQUALITY IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, 187 Reckoning and Reconciliation, 188 Participation, Accountability, and Transparency, 188 Impacted Community Voices, 188 Heterogeneity, 188 APPLYING A HISTORICAL LENS TO INFORM CRIMINAL JUSTICE POLICY, 189 CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS, 195 6 Community-Driven Safety and Reducing Harm 197 DEFINING COMMUNITY AND COMMUNITY WELL-BEING, 200 COLLECTIVE EFFICACY AND NEIGHBORHOOD SOCIAL ORGANIZATION, 201 What Is Needed for Success, 203 COMMUNITY-DRIVEN INITIATIVES, 204 Community-Centered Approaches to Justice, 206 Community-Driven Accountability Efforts, 209 Community-Based Anti-Violence Efforts, 210 Community-Driven Responses to Intimate Partner Violence, 217
xiv CONTENTS Community-Led Crisis Response Efforts, 219 Community-Led Efforts to Mitigate System Harm, 220 EXPANDING THE EVIDENCE BASE, 221 Measuring Community Social Organization and Views on Safety, 222 CONCLUSION, 225 7 Non-Criminal Policy Approaches to Reduce Racial Inequalities in Crime and Justice 227 IMPROVING THE MATERIAL WELL-BEING OF COMMUNITIES, 228 Policies and Programs to Address Underinvestment, 228 Place-Based Approaches, 232 Labor Market Solutions, 237 PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACHES TO VIOLENCE, 242 Firearm Violence and Related Policies, 243 Reducing Harmful Environmental Exposures, 245 Alcohol Outlets and Community Violence, 246 INTERVENTIONS IN OTHER SYSTEMS, 247 Strengthening Families and Protecting Children, 248 Enhancing Opportunities for Youth Learning and ÂDevelopment, 252 Promoting Health and Well-being, 259 CONCLUSION, 264 8 Criminal Justice System Reforms to Reduce Racial Inequality 265 INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE AND POLICY, 268 Constitutional Sources of Parsimony, 268 Assessing Decisions and Costs across Levels of Government, 269 Shifting Policy Approaches to Drugs and Violent Crime, 272 POLICING, 275 Changing the Context of Policing through Oversight and Accountability, 276 Changing the Disposition of Officers, 285 Racial Inequality and Police Deterrence Tactics, 287 COURTS, 291 Pretrial Release Decisions and Risk Assessment, 291 Fines and Fees Mitigation, 295 Modification of Judicial and Prosecutorial Discretion, 296
CONTENTS xv SENTENCING AND CORRECTIONS, 297 Reducing Prison Admissions, 299 Reducing Long Sentences, 301 Repealing the Death Penalty, 302 COMMUNITY SUPERVISION, 304 CONCLUSION, 307 9 The Federal Role 311 HISTORY OF FEDERAL GRANT MAKING FOR CRIME AND PUBLIC SAFETY, 312 CURRENT GRANT PROGRAMS, 315 Office of Justice Programs, 315 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program, 316 Other Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant Programs, 317 Programs Supporting Juvenile Justice, Crime Victims, and Sex Offense Enforcement, 317 Separate Offices Administering Public Safety Grants, 318 Formula-Funding and Categorical Grants-in-Aid, 319 ENHANCING THE FEDERAL SYSTEM TO ADDRESS RACIAL INEQUALITY IN THE SYSTEM, 319 Barriers to Funding, 320 Further Implications of These Barriers, 322 Opportunities, 324 Illustrative Example: The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 326 CONCLUSION, 330 10 Data and Research Opportunities 331 BUILDING A ROBUST CRIMINAL JUSTICE DATA ÂINFRASTRUCTURE, 331 Integration of Data Systems and Cross-System Linkages, 332 Consistent Reporting of Racial and Ethnic Data, 334 Incentives for Improving Data Quality and Transparency, 335 AN AGENDA FOR FUTURE RESEARCH, 337 References 341 Appendix: Biosketches of Committee Members and Staff 399
Boxes, Figures, and Tables BOXES S-1 Key Terms and Definitions, 2 S-2 Guiding Principles to Reduce Racial Inequality in the Criminal ÂJustice System, 8 1-1 Statement of Task, 17 1-2 Perspectives from Public Information-Gathering Sessions, 20 1-3 Key Terms and Concepts, 22 1-4 The Psychological Science of Bias, 41 3-1 Gun Violence: Different Types and Recent Trends, 127 4-1 Indigenous People and Criminal Jurisdiction, 146 4-2 Sentencing in Federal Court, 170 4-3 Protecting Ties between Incarcerated Parents and Their Children, 180 5-1 Case Study: Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses and Control Act of 1961, 191 6-1 Community-Driven Response: Mutual Aid Programs, 199 6-2 Credible Messengers, 213 7-1 âGreeningâ Cities: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) Land- Care Program, 234 xvii
xviii BOXES, FIGURES, AND TABLES 7-2 âBan the Boxâ Policies: Unintended Consequences, 240 7-3 Transitions Clinic Network, 261 8-1 Focused Deterrence in Boston: Operation Ceasefire, 289 9-1 Allocation of Federal Responsibilities: Human Trafficking, 321 FIGURES 2-1 Distribution of all U.S. residents across census tracks classified by the proportion of residents who are poor, by race and ethnicity, during the 2015â2019 period, 47 2-2 Rate of homicide offenses by population, 1990â2020, 52 2-3 Scatter plot of 2020 murder rates against 2019 murder rates for Âcities with more than 100,000 residents in the Federal Bureau of Investigationâs (FBIâs) Quarterly Crime Report data, 55 2-4 Trends in arrest rates by race for index violent offense, property Âoffense, non-index crimes, and juvenile arrests, 1980â2020, 59 2-5 Scatter plot of police stops per 100 residents for Black and Hispanic residents against White stops for U.S. cities included in the Stanford Open Policing PÂ roject database, 68 2-6 Scatter plot of police stops per 100 residents for Black and H Â ispanic residents against White searches for state police departments iÂncluded in the Stanford Open Policing Project database, 69 2-7 Scatter plots of contraband discovery rates, Black and Hispanic rates against White rates for California agencies, 72 2-8 Scatter plots of Black contraband discovery rates against White dis- covery rates for specific contraband categories, 73 2-9 Scatter plots of Hispanic contraband discovery rates against White discovery rates for specific contraband categories, 73 2-10 Clearance rates by race/ethnicity for all murders occurring between 2000 and 2019, 83 2-11 Number of state and federal prisoners per 100,000 residents by race and ethnicity, 1990 through 2018, 92 2-12 Long-term trends in U.S. and California incarceration rates, 1980â 2020, 98 2-13 Long-term violent and property crime trends in California, 1970â 2020, 98 2A-1 Difference in the proportion of serious violent incidents reported to the police by the race/ethnicity of the offender relative to incidents involving White offenders: all offenses 2012 through 2019 for all serious and specific offense types, 112
BOXES, FIGURES, AND TABLES xix 2A-2 Difference in the proportion of serious violent incidents reported to the police by the race/ethnicity of the offender relative to incidents involving White offenders: raw difference, adjusting for victim race/ ethnicity, and adjusting for offense type, 113 2A-3 Proportion of stops for equipment and non-moving violations by agency type, race, and gender, California, 114 2A-4 Incidence of actions taken by officers during traffic stops by agency type, race, and gender, California, 115 2A-5 Traffic stop outcomes by agency type, race, and gender, California, 116 8-1 Felony arrests per 100,000 by race and single year of age for 12 months before and 12 months after the passage of Prop 47, 300 TABLES 2-1 Property Crime Victimizations per 1,000 Households by Race/Â Ethnicity of the Household Head, All Offenses Occurring 2012 through 2019, 50 2-2 Serious Violent Crime Victimizations per 1,000 by Race/Ethnicity, All Offenses Occurring 2012 through 2019, 50 2-3 Homicide Rates for Males and Females, by Race (Age-Adjusted), 1990, 2000, 2010, 2015, 53 2-4 Homicides per 100,000 by Race, Gender, and Hispanic Origin, 2019 and 2020 for Select States, 54 2-5 Distribution of Serious Violent Criminal Victimizations across Race/ Ethnicity of the Offender as Perceived by the Crime Victim, 2012 through 2019, 60 2-6 Distribution of Criminal Offenses across Offender Race/Ethnicity by Race/Ethnicity of the Victim and Offense Type, 2012 through 2019, 61 2-7 Race/Ethnicity-Specific Distribution of Murder Victims by the Race/Ethnicity of the Offender for Murders Where Offender Race/Â Ethnicity Is Known (All Murders Occurring from 2000 to 2019), 64 2-8 Persons Killed by Police per 100,000, by Region and Race/Ethnicity, 2015â2021, 79 2-9 Proportion of Property Crime Incidents Reported to the Police by the Race/Ethnicity of the Household Head and the Offense Type (All Offenses Occurring between 2012 and 2019), 84 2-10 Proportion of Serious Violent Crime Incidents Reported to the ÂPolice by the Race/Ethnicity of the Victim and the Offense Type (All ÂOffenses Occurring between 2012 and 2019), 85 2-11 Parole Populations by Race/Ethnicity, 2001 through 2019, 97
xx BOXES, FIGURES, AND TABLES 2-12 Proportion Institutionalized for California Men, 18 to 55 Years of Age, by Race/Ethnicity, Age, and Educational Attainment, 2011, 2014, 2017, 102 2-13 Proportion Institutionalized among California Women, 18 to 55 Years of Age, by Race/Ethnicity, Age, and Educational Attainment, 2011, 2014, 2017, 104 4-1-1 Criminal Jurisdiction for Indian and Non-Indian Defendants, 147 4-1 Cumulative Risk Estimates of Criminal Justice Contact, by Race, 151 8-1 State Prison Population by Race/Ethnicity and Offense, 2000, 2019, 275 8-2 Numbers of Stops, Frisks, and Arrests in the Top 10 Precincts in 2011, When Floyd v. City of New York Decided That the New York Police DepartÂment Policy of Stop and Frisk Was Unconstitutional, and in 2014, by Race, 278
Preface The history of the U.S. criminal justice system is marked by racial in- equality. Across time and space numerous racialized populations from the Indigenous tribes of North America to Central American immigrants at todayâs southern U.S. border have been a focus of attention for the nÂ ationâs police, courts, and prisons. The most researched among these groups are African Americans, whose enslavement stood as a visible exception to the founding principles of universal liberty, liberal democracy, and natural rights. W.E.B. Du Boisâs (1899) study of Philadelphiaâs Seventh Ward at the end of the 19th century was among the earliest studies to link high rates of crime and arrest in Black neighborhoods of the city with structural inequali- ties and discrimination. Thorsten Sellin (1928) documented the high rates of conviction and prison sentencing among Black defendants in the mid- 1920s, and also traced the historic connections of chattel slavery to chain gangs and prison farms in the American South (Sellin, 1976). The high rate of imprisonment among Black Americans has been well documented for the entire 20th century and into the 21st century. As we will see in the following chapters, todayâs researchersâlike Du Bois a century agoâtrace disparate incarceration to conditions of crime, poverty, and segregation and a punitive policy response that flourished under such conditions. Racial dis- parity in incarceration was a major theme of an earlier National Research Council (NRC) report (NRC, 2014), and shortly before this committee first met, in 2020, the nation had experienced its largest racial justice protests in opposiÂtion to police brutality. Since the 1990s, various members of the National Academies of Sci- ences, Engineering, and Medicineâs Committee on Law and Justice, which xxi
xxii PREFACE oversaw this report, have made efforts to support a consensus study on racial inequality in the criminal justice system. While many of these efforts were unsuccessful, the 2014 publication of the NRC report on high rates of incarceration helped build the research case for a more targeted examina- tion of race and racism. The committee was compelled by the urgent need to respond to the disproportionate numbers of police stops, court appear- ances, and prison and jail admissions among Black, Latino, and Native American people. Earlier NRC reports had sometimes examined research on racial in- equality in the criminal justice system, but they had concentrated on spe- cific stages of criminal processing, and racial inequality was never the main focus. For example, a report in 1983 on sentencing policy made an important and detailed examination of research on racial discrimination in sentencing and incarceration. The report concluded that there was a large racial disparity in imprisonment, but âfactors other than racial discrimina- tion in sentencing account for most of the disproportionate representation of blacks in U.S. prisonsâ (NRC, 1983, p. 13). Another NRC report in 2004, on policing, found that the âclass and gender of suspectsâ have little influence on police behavior, but âmore research is needed on the complex interplay of race, ethnicity, and other social factorsâ (NRC, 2004b, p. 3). In 2018, a National Academies report was published on proactive policing, including a close examination of research on racial bias in hot spot and other proactive policing tactics. The 2018 report described the testimony of a community advocate who asked: âWhy arenât you doing anything to invest in the reasons why this is a hot spot in the first place?â (the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018, p. 274). The report went on to observe, âThe choice of policing as a response to crime problems is in itself a policy decision that has implications for communi- ties.â The charge to the proactive policing committee, however, was not broad enough to consider how policing functions within a broad social system of racial inequalities, inclusive of the criminal justice system, and the greater systemâs impact on crime. The current report should be understood to stand in this line of work by the National Academies on race and the criminal justice system, and as the most comprehensive effort to date. In this study, because of the pio- neering efforts of Jeremy Travis and Ruth Peterson, racial inequality is the central focus of the statement of task, and the committeeâs charge takes in the whole criminal justice system in relation to a broad consideration of societal factors. The criminal justice system does not operate in a vacuum and never has. We are asked to review research to explain why there are such large racial inequalities in crime, victimization, and criminal justice involve- ment, and to offer evidence-based advice on reducing inequality. The topic
PREFACE xxiii is vast and in places we have necessarily traded breadth for depth. In the committeeâs perspective, the criminal justice system is a complex interlock- ing apparatus and part of the challenge of understanding racial inequality involves understanding the operation of the system as a whole. Large crime policy projects, like the War on Drugs and the War on Crime that were mounted in the 1960s and 1970s, involved thousands of agencies including state legislatures, police departments, prosecutors, and prison authorities. Racial inequality is not produced by any one stage of the system but is the combined product of each stage in the sequence. In addition to institutional complexity, police, courts, and prisons are deeply embedded in a racially unequal society that has denied opportunity to communities of color (e.g., Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American communities) and preserved socio-economic advantages for White Ameri- cans. Through segregation, unequal public investment, and a political ac- ceptance of enduring and spatially concentrated poverty, White Americans have mostly lived in vastly different social worlds than people of other racial groups. In Black, Latino, and Native American neighborhoods and communities where crime and poverty are more prevalent, the criminal jus- tice system is the dominant response to crime. In White neighborhoods and communities, the public policy approach to safety does not depend chiefly on the threat of arrest and incarceration. The committee has tried to absorb the lessons of research on racial in- equalities in crime and the criminal justice system to propose policies that might reduce both. Criminal justice reform has a fundamentally important role to play in reducing racial inequality. Hundreds of policy iÂnitiatives are currently unfolding around the country that aim to reduce the burden of unnecessary or harmful state supervision in Black, Latino, and Native American communities, while also reducing crime. We have tried to learn from some of the most important of these examples in proposing future directions for policy. The committee also studied many of the efforts underÂtaken through community-led initiatives and social policies that try to build a different kind of safety and well-being that relies less on police and prisons. We have also tried to draw lessons from these examples, while acknowledging the political challenges. The committee acknowledges the importance of the inclusion of lived experience with the criminal justice system throughout this process, which we have integrated through com- mittee perspective, our information-gathering process, and dissemination efforts (see below for artwork created for the report). Finally, we see a critical role for the federal government to seed new initiatives and help promote a p Â aradigm shift that can change the relationship of citizens of color to the American state. Instead of depending mostly on punitive measures by the state to deliver safety, a United States without racial in- equality would find safety in greater prospects of opportunity, healthier
xxiv PREFACE communities in which to live, and accountability for harm would involve setting relationships right. In such a world, the criminal justice system might even be deserving of its name. We offer this report in the hope of such an outcome. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Co-Chair Bruce Western, Co-Chair Committee on Reducing Racial Inequalities in the Criminal Justice System
PREFACE xxv Title: Untold Artist: Jemaell Riley Year: 2022 Artist statement: I am unfortunate to be one of those cast away by society. The decade removed from my life are the pages of some untold story that most will never know and a story I never wish to relive. This is not uniqueâin this art is a picture of those lost pages, scattered, full of lives from every com- munity, race, and creed who will struggle to find the meaning of being forgotten.
Acronyms and Abbreviations BID Business Improvement Districts BJS Bureau of Justice Statistics BTB ban the box Byrne JAG Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program CAHOOTS Portland, Oregonâs Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets CCD Houstonâs Crisis Call Diversion CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CIA Central Intelligence Agency ECE early childhood education EMS emergency medical services FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation FFPSA Family First Prevention Services Act IDD intellectual and developmental disability LAPD Los Angeles Police Department LEAA Law Enforcement Assistance Administration LGBQ/GNCT lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer/gender nonconforming, transgender LGBTQ2S+ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, two-spirit, and other identities xxvii
xxviii ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS MTO The Moving to Opportunity project MTSS multi-tiered systems of support NCVS National Crime Victimization Survey NIJ National Institute of Justice NYPD New York (City) Police Department OEO Office of Economic Opportunity OJJDP Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention OLEA Office of Law Enforcement Assistance PHS Pennsylvania Horticultural Society RCT randomized controlled trials RIPA Racial Identity and Profiling Act SBI Sovereign Bodies Institute SRO school resource officers TCN Transitions Clinic Network UCR Uniform Crime Reporting