Prison Policy Initiative Shares Ten Key Facts about Policing
Date:  06-24-2020

Only five percent of all arrests are for serious violent crimes
From Prison Policy Initiative:

Many of the worst features of mass incarceration — such as racial disparities in prisons — can be traced back to policing. Our research on the policies that impact justice-involved and incarcerated people therefore often intersects with policing issues. Now, at a time when police practices, budgets, and roles in society are at the center of the national conversation about criminal justice, we have compiled our key work related to policing (and our discussions of other researchers’ work) in one briefing. 1. Nearly 1 million people in the U.S. experience the threat or use of force by police annually, and they are disproportionately Black and Latinx.

The scale of police use of force is an important fact in and of itself, made more troubling by the racial disparities evident in police stops and use of force. In a national survey, Black respondents were more likely to be stopped by police than white or Latinx respondents, and both Black and Latinx respondents were more likely to be stopped multiple times over the course of a year than white respondents. The survey also showed that when they initiated a stop, police were twice as likely to threaten or use force against Black and Latinx respondents than whites. These disparate experiences have predictable effects on public trust in police: white respondents were more likely to view police use of force as legitimate and more likely to seek help from police than were people of color. 2. Over 4.9 million people are arrested each year. In all, there are over 10 million arrests in the U.S. each year, but many people are arrested multiple times per year. From responses to a national survey, we estimate that at least 4.9 million unique individuals are arrested and jailed each year, and at least one in four of those individuals are arrested more than once in the same year. The massive scale of these police responses means that there are millions of opportunities each year for police-civilian encounters to turn violent or fatal, and an estimated 77 million people are now saddled with a criminal record. Continue reading >>>