Disparities Talk April 07

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Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice in Wisconsin: 

Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice in Wisconsin Pamela Oliver

Outline: 

Outline The problem: National overview of imprisonment trends 1926-1999 Bringing it home: Comparing Wisconsin to the US across time [some new charts] Trends in Wisconsin by type of admission and offense Age Patterns Impacts on families and youth County Comparisons & Patterns (optional) Implications for policy

National Trends: The Magnitude of the Problem: 

National Trends: The Magnitude of the Problem

Comparing International Incarceration Rates (Source: Sentencing Project): 

Comparing International Incarceration Rates (Source: Sentencing Project)

World Incarceration Rates in 1995: Adding US Race Patterns: 

World Incarceration Rates in 1995: Adding US Race Patterns

Nationally, The Black Population is Being Imprisoned at Alarming Rates: 

Nationally, The Black Population is Being Imprisoned at Alarming Rates Nearly 40% of the Black male population is under the supervision of the correctional system (prison, jail, parole, probation) Estimated “lifetime expectancy” of spending some time in prison is about 32% for young Black men. About 12% of Black men in their 20s are incarcerated (prison + jail), about 20% of all Black men have been in prison 7% of Black children, 2.6% of Hispanic children, .8% of White children had a parent in prison in 1997 – lifetime expectancy much higher

About Rates & Disparity Ratios: 

About Rates & Disparity Ratios Imprisonment and arrest rates are expressed as the rate per 100,000 of the appropriate population Example: In 1999 Wisconsin new prison sentences 1021 Whites imprisoned, White population of Wisconsin was 4,701,123. 1021 ÷ 4701123 = .000217. Multiply .00021 by 100,000 = 22, the imprisonment rate per 100,000 population. 1,266 Blacks imprisoned, Black population of Wisconsin was 285,308. 1266 ÷ 285308 = .004437. Multiply by 100,000 = 444 Calculate Disparity Ratios by dividing rates: 444/22 = 20.4 the Black/White ratio in new prison sentence rates

Black and White prison admissions, historical: 

Black and White prison admissions, historical

Imprisonment Has Increased While Crime Has Declined: 

Imprisonment Has Increased While Crime Has Declined Imprisonment rates are a function of responses to crime, not a function of crime itself Property crimes declined steadily between 1970s and 2000 Violent crime declined modestly overall, with smaller ups and downs in the period

Crime Trends: 

Crime Trends Source: Crunching Numbers: Crime and Incarceration at the End of the Millennium by Jan M. Chaiken Based on Bureau of Justice Statistics data from National Crime Victimization Survey. Figures adjusted for changed methodology, shaded area marks change.

Property Crime: 

Property Crime

So what has been going on?: 

So what has been going on?

The 1970’s Policy Shift: 

The 1970’s Policy Shift Shift to determinate sentencing, higher penalties LEAA, increased funding for police departments Crime becomes a political issue Drug war funding gives incentives to police to generate drug arrests & convictions: this escalates in the 1980s Post-civil rights post-riots competitive race relations, race-coded political rhetoric.?

Timing of Black Protests, Riots: 

Timing of Black Protests, Riots Jenkins & Eckert

Disparities by offense: 

Disparities by offense

Black & White, drug vs other sentences: 

Black & White, drug vs other sentences

National White Prison Sentences by Offense: 

National White Prison Sentences by Offense Drug Rob/burg Violent Theft Other 1983 1999 0 18

National Black Prison Sentences by Offense: 

National Black Prison Sentences by Offense 1983 1999 Drug 0 300 Rob/burg Violent Theft Other

Drug Use Graphs: 

Drug Use Graphs Source: 2003 National Survey on Drug Use & Health, Department of Health & Human Services

Any Illegal Drug, % of Persons 26+ who have used, 2002-3: 

Any Illegal Drug, % of Persons 26+ who have used, 2002-3 Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 and 2003.

Any Illegal Drug, % of Persons 18-25 who have used, 2002-3: 

Any Illegal Drug, % of Persons 18-25 who have used, 2002-3 Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 and 2003.

Any Illegal Drug, % of Persons 12-17 who have used, 2002-3: 

Any Illegal Drug, % of Persons 12-17 who have used, 2002-3 Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 and 2003.

Marijuana, % of Persons 26+ who have used, 2002-3: 

Marijuana, % of Persons 26+ who have used, 2002-3 Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 and 2003.

Marijuana, % of Persons 18-25 who have used, 2002-3: 

Marijuana, % of Persons 18-25 who have used, 2002-3 Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 and 2003.

Marijuana, % of Persons 12-17 who have used, 2002-3: 

Marijuana, % of Persons 12-17 who have used, 2002-3 Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 and 2003.

Cocaine, % of Persons 26+ who have used, 2002-3: 

Cocaine, % of Persons 26+ who have used, 2002-3 Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 and 2003.

Crack Cocaine, % of Persons 26+ who have used, 2002-3: 

Crack Cocaine, % of Persons 26+ who have used, 2002-3 Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 and 2003.

Cocaine, % of Persons 18-25 who have used, 2002-3: 

Cocaine, % of Persons 18-25 who have used, 2002-3 Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 and 2003.

Crack Cocaine, % of Persons 18-25 who have used, 2002-3: 

Crack Cocaine, % of Persons 18-25 who have used, 2002-3 Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 and 2003.

Cocaine, % of Persons 12-17 who have used, 2002-3: 

Cocaine, % of Persons 12-17 who have used, 2002-3 Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 and 2003.

Crack Cocaine, % of Persons 12-17 who have used, 2002-3: 

Crack Cocaine, % of Persons 12-17 who have used, 2002-3 Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002 and 2003. NOTE: THESE ARE <1%

White kids are more likely to use and sell illegal drugs than Black kids: 

White kids are more likely to use and sell illegal drugs than Black kids

Wisconsin Prison Admissions: 

Wisconsin Prison Admissions Including Detailed Time Trends 1990-1999/2003

National & Wisconsin Imprisonment Rates: 

National & Wisconsin Imprisonment Rates

National & Wisconsin Disparities: 

National & Wisconsin Disparities

Slide38: 

To WI compared to national graphs for more details

Graphs from my analysis of Wisconsin Department of Corrections Data: 

Graphs from my analysis of Wisconsin Department of Corrections Data

Slide40: 

Black AmerInd Hispanic Asian White

Proportion of Admissions Involving New Sentences (1991-9): 

Proportion of Admissions Involving New Sentences (1991-9)

White Admissions Status: 

White Admissions Status New Sentence Only Violation Only Violation + New

Blacks Admission Status: 

Blacks Admission Status New Sentence Only Violation Only Violation + New

Slide44: 

(Possible data coding changes after 2000?) Black AmerInd Hispanic Asian White

Slide45: 

Black AmerInd Hispanic Asian White

Slide46: 

New only plus (new + violation) Black AmerInd Hispanic Asian White

Offense trends in new prison sentences by race.: 

Offense trends in new prison sentences by race.

Slide48: 

Violent Rob/burg Drug Theft Other Whites 14

Slide49: 

Blacks 300 Violent Rob/burg Drug Theft Other

Slide50: 

Hispanics 100 Violent Rob/burg Drug Theft Other

Slide51: 

Amer Inds 120 Violent Rob/burg Drug Theft Other

Slide52: 

Asians 20 Violent Rob/burg Drug Theft Other

Age Patterns for Imprisonment: 

Age Patterns for Imprisonment

White kids are more likely to use and sell illegal drugs than Black kids, but Black kids are MUCH more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for drug offenses: 

White kids are more likely to use and sell illegal drugs than Black kids, but Black kids are MUCH more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for drug offenses

Incarceration Exacerbates the Effects of Racial Discrimination: 

Incarceration Exacerbates the Effects of Racial Discrimination Next few slides are from research by Devah Pager, new PhD from University of Wisconsin Sociology, now on faculty at Princeton This was a controlled experiment in which matched pairs of applicants applied for entry-level jobs advertised in Milwaukee newspapers

Figure 4. The Effect of a Criminal Record on Employment Opportunities for Whites: 

Figure 4. The Effect of a Criminal Record on Employment Opportunities for Whites

Figure 5. The Effect of a Criminal Record for Black and White Job Applicants: 

Figure 5. The Effect of a Criminal Record for Black and White Job Applicants

Why Black Men’s Incarceration Increases Black Child Poverty: 

Why Black Men’s Incarceration Increases Black Child Poverty

Social Conditions, Political Processes, Crime, and Corrections: 

Social Conditions, Political Processes, Crime, and Corrections

An Individual Life Course Model of Crime With Policing Added : 

An Individual Life Course Model of Crime With Policing Added

Imprisonment as a Cause of Crime?: 

Imprisonment as a Cause of Crime?

Interpreting Disparity Data: 

Interpreting Disparity Data

Steps to Incarceration: 

Steps to Incarceration

Contributors to Disparity: 

Contributors to Disparity Statistical artifacts: rates calculated on small populations are unstable and can be distorted by non-residents.  Keep track of residency status in data. Underlying rates of actual offending: especially for serious offenses, most of the disparity is due to rates of offending.  Examine larger problems of social inequality, discrimination outside criminal justice system. Discrimination (direct or indirect) in criminal justice system: enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, etc.  Individual-level conscious & unconscious prejudice System-level processes that have disparate effects, especially those correlated with economic standing but not actual criminality. Examine each part of the system separately

Milwaukee County: Allocating Prison Disparities to Arrest vs. Post-Arrest Processing (1998-1999): 

Milwaukee County: Allocating Prison Disparities to Arrest vs. Post-Arrest Processing (1998-1999) ~72% of difference is due to arrest differentials

Dane County : Allocating Prison Disparities to Arrest vs. Post-Arrest Processing (1998-1999): 

Dane County : Allocating Prison Disparities to Arrest vs. Post-Arrest Processing (1998-1999) ~ 37% of difference is due to arrest differentials

Dane County 1990s: 

Dane County 1990s

County Comparisons: 

County Comparisons Go to County Comparisons File

What is to be done?: 

What is to be done? This is not a sound bite issue. Factors include a combination of bias, real differences in serious crime, social & political conditions Patterns are arising from the core structures of our society But there are steps we can take

Oppose the “drug war”: 

Oppose the “drug war” Treatment and public education are the most effective ways to reduce drug use Drug enforcement just increases the profits of illegal drugs, makes the problem worse Learn about the consequences of alcohol prohibition: drive-by shootings, organized crime The largest racial disparities are for drug offenses Association of violence with drugs is due to illegality & police enforcement

Oppose “tough on crime” rhetoric: 

Oppose “tough on crime” rhetoric Help depoliticize crime as an issue Distinguish among different kinds of crimes Take the crime problems of poor (& economically integrated) neighborhoods seriously without over-reacting and “middle class panic” Call for rehabilitation & restoration for lesser offenses, not “lock ‘em up”

Revisit probation & parole: 

Revisit probation & parole The vast majority of offenders are not murderers or rapists – they will get out Insist the system focus on rehabilitating and reintegrating offenders, rather than looking for opportunities to incarcerate them NOTE: Wisconsin has abolished parole, but has “extended supervision”

Address “root causes” of crime: 

Address “root causes” of crime Reduce poverty and deprivation through income transfers (e.g. earned income credit), training programs, living wages Provide social support, education, constructive alternatives for juveniles who are not doing well in school Need to break the inter-generational cycle caused by massive incarceration

Address racial bias & prejudice: 

Address racial bias & prejudice Racial discrimination in employment & housing reduce constructive options Conscious and unconscious biases, perceptions, assumptions affect policing & sentencing White fear of crime more sensitive to presence of Blacks than to actual crime rates Politicians play on Whites’ race-tinged crime fears in pushing “tough on crime” policies

Racism and Justice: Conclusions: 

Racism and Justice: Conclusions We cannot move from an unjust to a just situation by ignoring race and pretending the disparities are not there We cannot achieve racial justice by ignoring the real differences in serious crimes, economic & social conditions We cannot achieve racial justice by treating this as “somebody else’s” problem Politics caused the problem, and politicians need to be part of the solution

Web Site: 

Web Site Has copy of this presentation + lots of other stuff http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~oliver Follow the links to “racial disparities” section

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