Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Under Siege

On Thursday, October 16, 2014, NACDL hosted a webinar entitled Under Siege: The Defense Bar Examines Police Militarization, Ethnic & Racial Dynamics of Sentencing, and Their Impact on Criminal Justice Outcomes. The webinar was in response to the uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri subsequent to the police killing of an unarmed black teenager; and the ensuing swift and extreme police response.

The webinar also explored the plethora of polarizing issues including racism, implicit bias, disparate sentencing policies, as well as, the over-policing of minority and poor communities.

Panel I-The Issues, addressed militarization, ethnic & racial dynamics of sentencing and their impact on criminal justice outcomes. Panel II-Community Perspective and Solutions examined the historical and systemic issues associated with crime and the response of police to those communities most affected by crime. The panel also addressed solutions policy makers and communities can make to solve these issues on the local, state and federal level.

In addition, several resources that framed the discussion or were referenced during the event can be found here:

Racial Disparity Project

Since 2012, NACDL has embarked upon an important and timely project addressing racial and ethnic disparities within the criminal justice system. NACDL, along with the Brennan Center for Justice, the New YorAngelyn Racial Disparities Conference 2013 smallk County Lawyers' Association, the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, initiated the project with a two and a half day convening entitled Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparity in the Criminal Justice System, culminating with the release of academic articles recently published in the New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy. The articles are available for download here.

Elements of the project have included the October 2012 convening; a report detailing recommendations generated from the convening; a series of articles on race published in The Champion magazine; a three-part podcast featuring organizers of the conference discussing the goals and objectives of the convening and subsequent report; the second convening entitled Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparity in the Criminal Justice System: Advancing the Reform Dialogue Through Action with links to the webcast;and the New York Journal of Legislation and Public Policy academic articles are the final elements of this major undertaking. The Journal series features articles from leading academics on the issue of race and ethnic disparity in the criminal justice system. In addition many of the academics participated on panels related to their articles.

For more information about the project, please contact Angelyn C. Frazer at (202) 465-7642 or via email at afrazer@nacdl.org.

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