Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System

Report
RACIAL DISPARITIES IN
THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE
SYSTEM
Relative Rate Index (RRI)
Minority Rate
White Rate
=1
No Disparities
>1
Disparities
<1
Disparities
Source: 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri
The System Overview
Youth Population
Referral to Juvenile Court
Informal
Adjustment
Detention
Cases Petitioned
(Charges Filed)
Transferred to
Adult Criminal
Court
Delinquent Finding (Adjudicated))
Probation
Supervision
Out of Home
Placement
DYS
Commitment
Source: 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri
Relative Rate Index concerning African Americans
throughout the Juvenile Justice System
8
7.6
7
6
5
St. Louis
4
National
[2009]
3
2
1
1.98
0.91
1.81
1.08
1.04
0.62
0.99
0.73
0
Source: National Center for Juvenile Justice
Source: 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri
Theories of Disparity Origin
Differential Involvement
Differential Selection and Processing
Minorities commit more crimes
Specifically, crimes that lead further into
the system
Police behavior and discrimination within the
courts and corrections lead to disparities
Cause
Social
Cause
Bias
Historical patterns of inequality
Crime policies
Discretion
Support
Both official data and self-reports
demonstrate African Americans and some Support
Hispanics disproportionately committing
A study by Irving Piliavin and Scott Briar
serious violent crimes
determined that (1) an officer's discretion,
(2) the juvenile's prior record, and (3) an
African American's tendency towards a
negative demeanor characterized juvenilepolice street interaction
Mixed Method
Differential involvement, important earlier on, causes initial contact with police, and thus
influences differential selection later on
Source: Disproportionate Minority Contact
Disparity Index
Demographic
Disparity Index
White
0.95 (-0.05)
Black
1.62 (+0.62)
Hispanic
0.81 (-0.19)
Asian
0.55 (-0.45)
American Indian
0.17 (-0.83)
Other
0.54 (-0.46)
Source: Missouri Vehicle Stops Report
2009 Vehicle Stops (Disparity Index)
Source: Missouri Vehicle Stops Report
Arrests in St. Louis
Neighborhood with highest amount of crimes in September
2012: Downtown with 1015 crimes
 Crime committed the most: larceny with 697 reports
 2 murders
 5 rapes
 70 robberies
 109 aggravated assault
 2 arsons
Data Provided by St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department



Murder: The willful killing of one
human being by another.
Manslaughter by negligence:
The killing of another person
through gross negligence.
 Negligence: A failure to
exercise the standard of
care that a reasonable
person would exercise in a
similar circumstance.
Forcible Rape: The carnal
knowledge of a female body
forcibly and against her will.
Data Provided by Metropolitan Police Department
City of Saint Louis


Robbery: The taking or
attempting to take anything of
value from the care ,custody, or
control of a person or persons
by force or threat of force or
violence and/or by putting the
victim in fear.
Aggravated assault: An
unlawful attack by one person
on another for the purpose of
inflicting severe or aggravated,
bodily injury.
Data Provided by Metropolitan Police Department
City of Saint Louis


Burglary: The unlawful entry of
a structure to commit a felony
or theft.
Larceny-theft: The unlawful
taking, carrying, leading, or
riding away of property from
the possession of another.
Data Provided by Metropolitan Police Department
City of Saint Louis

Arson: Any willful or malicious
burning or attempt to burn,
with or without intent to
defraud, a dwelling house,
public building, motor vehicle
or aircraft, personal property
of another, and the like.
Data Provided by Metropolitan Police Department
City of Saint Louis

Offenses concerning drug and
alcohol violation include the
possession, use, and sale of
these substances.
 Some drugs are outlawed
or can only be used when
prescribed by a physician.
Data Provided by Metropolitan Police Department
City of Saint Louis

Prostitution: The
participation, or offering to
participate, in sexual activity
for a fee.
Data Provided by Metropolitan Police Department
City of Saint Louis
Officers by Race and Gender
Race
White
Black
Other
Total
Male
55.22%
27.04%
2.22%
84.48%
Female
9.23%
6.15%
0.14%
15.52%
Total
64.45%
33.19%
2.36%
100%
Data Provided by Metropolitan Police Department
City of Saint Louis
Convictions: What the Data Shows
African Americans are about 11 times more likely to be convicted
of murder in Missouri than other races.
Data Provided by the Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission
Conviction Data for Other Crimes In
Missouri
Sentencing Differences Between Courts
(2009)



Prison sentences as a percentage of all sentences:
 The range is from 48.8% for circuit 18 (Cooper and Pettis counties) down to
10.8% for circuit 2 (Adair, Knox, and Lewis).
 The average percentage is 25.6.
Shock and Treatment as a percentage of Prison and Shock and Treatment
Sentences:
 The range is from 58.8% for circuit 2 (Adair, Knox, and Lewis) down to 10.6%
for circuit 44 (Douglas, Ozark, and Wright counties).
 The average percentage is 29.0.
Average Prison Sentences:
 St. Louis City has the highest average prison sentence with 9.0 years.
 Circuit 41 (Macon and Shelby), Circuit 1 (Clark, Schuyler, and Scotland),
Circuit 39 (Barry, Lawrence, and Stone), Circuit 37 (Carter, Howell, Oregon,
and Shannon), and Circuit 30 (Benton, Dallas, Hickory, Polk, and Webster)
have the lowest average sentence with 4.5 years.
Data Provided by Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission
Sentencing Disparity by Race (2009)

A significant indicator of sentencing disparity by race is the incarceration
rate in relation to the respective populations of Blacks, Hispanics, and
other races.
 The MO incarceration rate for Blacks is over 5.5 times that of other
races.
 Nationally, the Black rate is over 6.5 times the White incarceration
rate.
 The incarceration rate for Hispanics in MO is lower than for other
races and is only half the national rate for Hispanics.
 Blacks have the highest average prison sentence, 7.9 years
compared to an average 5.9 years for Whites.
 Hispanics have the highest percentage of prison sentences (34.8%)
and Whites have the highest percentage of probation sentences
(64.5%).
Data Provided by Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission

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