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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Race and Bail in America

the bail system for people of african descent in america is criminal. richard pryor once said, "there is no justice for black people - just us." listed below are statistics recently cited by the pretrial racial justice initiative (prji).

* african-americans are 2.5 times more likely to be arrested than white americans.

for non-violent drug arrests:

* african-americans are 2 times more likely to be detained than whites. 
* hispanics are 2.5 times more likely to be detained than whites.
* 1 in 15 african-american males are incarcerated.
* 1 in 36 hispanic males are incarcerated.
* 1 in 106 white males are incarcerated. 

race and bond amounts are significantly correlated:

* african-american men - 35% higher bond than white men.
* hispanic men - 19% higher bond than white men.

drivers of racial discrimination:

* implicit biases of system actors.
* jurisdictions that allow non-lawyers to make bail decisions.
* lack of adequate information to make informed decisions.
* monetary bail system.
* no oversight of discretionary decision-making.

short periods of pretrial detention increases the likelihood of:

* failure to appear in court.
* new criminal activity while awaiting trial.
* post-disposition recidivism.

defendants held for the entire trial period faced:

* four times greater likelihood of being sentenced to jail.
* three times greater likelihood of being sentenced to prison.
* three times longer jail sentences.
* two times prison sentence.

pretrial risk assessment can help to level these disparities through:

* education of implicit biases.
* move from monetary to risk-based system.
* multiple stages of release.
* oversight and accountability.
* require articulation of bail decisions.
* review of bail determinations.  

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