CRIMINAL JUSTICE FACT SHEET

LAW ENFORCEMENT

A Black person is five times more likely to be stopped without just cause than a white person.

A Black man is twice as likely to be stopped without just cause than a Black woman.

65% of Black adults have felt targeted because of their race. Similarly, approximately 35% of Latino and Asian adults have felt targeted because of race.

84% of Black adults say white people are treated better than Black people by police; 63% of white adults agree (based on 2019 research on police relations).

87% of Black adults say the U.S. criminal justice system is more unjust towards Black people; 61% of white adults agree.

Despite the fact that more white people have been killed by police, Black and Hispanic people are disproportionately impacted.  While white people make up a little over 60% of the population, they only make up about 41% of fatal police shootings.  Black people make up 13.4% of the population, but make up 22% of fatal police shootings.  This does not take into consideration other forms of police brutality, including non-lethal shootings.

On average, Black Americans are exposed to four police killings of other unarmed Black Americans in the same state each year.

Police killings of unarmed Black Americans are responsible for more than 50 million additional days of poor mental health per year among Black Americans. This mental health burden is comparable to that associated with diabetes, a disease that strikes 1 in 5 Black Americans.

THE COURTS

One out of every three Black boys born today can expect to be sentenced to prison, compared 1 out 6 Latino boys; one out of 17 white boys.

Black defendants are 22% more likely to have convictions involving police misconduct that eventually result in exoneration.

As of October 2016, there have been 1900 exonerations of the wrongfully accused, 47% of the exonerated were Black Americans.

Since 2005, 98 non-federal law enforcement officers have been arrested in connection with fatal, on-duty shootings. To date, only 35 of these officers have been convicted of a crime, often a lesser offense such as manslaughter or negligent homicide, rather than murder. Only three officers have been convicted of murder during this period and seen their convictions stand. Another 22 officers were acquitted in a jury trial and nine were acquitted during a bench trial decided by a judge. 10 other cases were dismissed by a judge or a prosecutor, and in one instance no true bill was returned from a grand jury. Currently, there are 21 non-federal law enforcement officers with pending criminal cases for fatal shootings.

CORRECTIONS

Despite making up close to 5% of the global population, the U.S. has nearly 25% of the world’s prison population.

32% of the US population is represented by Black and Hispanic Americans, compared to 56% of the US incarcerated population being represented by Black and Hispanic Americans.

In 2014, Black Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population.

Black Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites.

The imprisonment rate for Black American women is 2 times that of white women.

Nationwide, Black American children represent 32% of children who are arrested, 42% of children who are detained, and 52% of children whose cases are judicially waived to criminal court. Black American children represent 14% of the population.

Since 1991 the rate of violent crime in the United States has fallen by about 20%, while the number of people in prison or jail has risen by 50%.

If Black and Hispanic Americans were incarcerated at the same rates as whites, prison and jail populations would decline by almost 40%.

35% of the individuals executed under the death penalty within the last 40 years have been Black although Black Americans represent only 13% of the general population. Black Americans are pursued, convicted, and sent to death at a disproportionally higher rate than any other race.

Excerpted from https://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/

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