Below is some of our key research and organizing:
Racial and ethnic disparities are an unacceptable but defining characteristic of our prison system, yet in 2006 the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics stopped publishing state-level information about racial disparities in incarceration. We used our familiarity with U.S. Census data to chart racial disparities in incarceration with 200+ graphs.
With data scientist Daniel Kopf, we uncover the data to show that even before their incarceration, the people in prison are much poorer than Americans of similar ages. This was the first report to provides national data on the pre-incarceration incomes of incarcerated people by race and gender.
With data scientist Daniel Kopf, we find that the ability to pay money bail is impossible for too many defendants because the typical bail amount represents -- depending on race and gender of the defendant -- between 8 and 13 months of income.
Racial and ethnic disparities are an unacceptable but defining characteristic of our prison system, and here we unlock part of the answer to why African-Americans and Latinos fill the prisons while Whites get the jobs running the prisons: the prisons are disproportionately built in white areas.
- The parallel epidemics of incarceration & HIV in the Deep South, by Emily Widra, September 8, 2017
HIV disproportionately impacts communities that are already marginalized by poverty, inadequate resources, discrimination, and mass incarceration.
- Unraveling the connections between race, incarceration, and women’s HIV rates, by Wendy Sawyer and Emily Widra, May 8, 2017
Current research points to an unexpected contributor to the high rates of HIV infection among Black women: the mass incarceration of Black men.
- The proven truth: Police treat Black Americans with less respect, by Lucius Couloute, June 8, 2017
New research out of Stanford University substantiates what Black America has always known – that police officers treat Blacks differently than they do whites.
- @AltBJS highlights important data on racial disparities in the criminal justice system, by Emily Widra, March 7, 2017
During Black History Month, the twitter user @AltBJS presented 28 under-discussed facts about racial disparities in the justice system. I collected the sources.
- Why do we lock juveniles up for life and throw away the key? Race plays a big part. By Joshua Aiken, September 15, 2016
The United States is the only country in the world that sentences people under 18 to die behind bars. Which states do it, and why?
- The criminal justice system is riddled with racial disparities, by Alison Walsh, August 15, 2016
We explore the various stages at which racial inequity pervades the justice system.
- The crippling effect of incarceration on wealth, by Meredith Booker, April 26, 2016
The wealth disparity between young men who experience prison and those who never do is staggering - and contains a heavy racial component.
- Reaching too far, coming up short: How large sentencing enhancement zones miss the mark, by Aleks Kajstura, Peter Wagner and Leah Sakala, January 27, 2009.
In this 2009 report, we explored the racial discrimination inherent to Massachusetts' now-reformed drug zone law. We expect to find similar results in other states that have similar laws - ones creating high penalties for offenses committed in dense urban areas where people of color disproportionately live.
- The civil rights section of our Research Clearinghouse for comprehensive edited links to empirical research by other organizations.