Beyond One-Liners: A Guide to the Democratic Debate on Criminal Justice
Date:  08-05-2019

Marshall Project highlights critical issues that candidates failed to mention
From The Marshall Project:

Wednesday night’s debate saw the first extended discussion of criminal justice issues as the Democratic presidential candidates jockey in a crowded and competitive field. Several candidates teed off those issues to score political points and jab at opponents. While their exchanges covered a wide range of topics, there were also critical issues that no one even mentioned. Here’s a guide, curated by our experts here at The Marshall Project, to what’s behind the one-liners and talking points—and what was left out. We include suggestions for further reading for those who want to delve deeper.

Racial Disparities

As the candidates emphasized Wednesday night, racial disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system are vast. One reason (though only one of many) is the difference in how crack and powder cocaine possession are punished at the federal level, which the recently enacted First Step Act partially addressed. Due also to overpolicing in black neighborhoods and implicit bias among judges and prosecutors, one in 10 black children in this country has a parent behind bars, compared with about one in 60 white kids. Yet in a little-noted development, these disparities have actually been on the decline for nearly two decades. Between 2000 and 2015, the rate at which black men were imprisoned dropped by more than 24 percent. Among women, the trend was even more dramatic: a drop of 50 percent.

The racial disparity in women’s incarceration was once 6-to-1, but now it has dropped to 2-to-1. Continue reading >>>