# Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice in Wisconsin Pamela Oliver.

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Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice in Wisconsin Pamela Oliver

The Magnitude of the Problem

Comparing International Incarceration Rates (Source: Sentencing Project)

World Incarceration Rates in 1995: Adding US Race Patterns

Nationally, The Black Population is Being Imprisoned at Alarming Rates Upwards of 1/3 of the black male population is under the supervision of the correctional system (prison, jail, parole, probation) Estimated “lifetime expectancy” of spending some time in prison is 29% for young black men. About 9% of black men in their 20s are in prison 7% of black children, 2.6% of Hispanic children,.8% of white children have a parent in prison (at one time) – lifetime expectancy much higher

About Rates & Disparity Ratios Imprisonment and arrest rates are expressed as the rate per 100,000 of the appropriate population Example: In 1999 Wisconsin new prison sentences –1021 whites imprisoned, white population of Wisconsin was 4,701,123: 1021 ÷ 4701123 =.000217. Multiply.00021 by 100,000 = 22, the imprisonment rate per 100,000 population. –1,266 blacks imprisoned, black population of Wisconsin was 285,308. 1266 ÷ 285308 =.004437. Multiply by 100,000 = 444 Calculate Disparity Ratios by dividing rates: 444/22 = 20.4 the black/white ratio in new prison sentence rates

National & Wisconsin Imprisonment Rates

The 1970’s Policy Shift Shift to determinate sentencing, higher penalties LEAA, increased funding for police departments The drug warm incentives to police departments to make drug arrests Post-civil rights post-riots competitive race relations, race-coded political rhetoric.?

Imprisonment Has Increased While Crime Has Declined Imprisonment rates are a function of responses to crime, not a function of crime itself Property crimes declined steadily between 1970s and 2000 Violent crime declined modestly overall, with smaller ups and downs in the period

The Drug War Most of the increase in imprisonment is due to drug offenses. Drug use rates have generally declined since the 1980s, while drug imprisonments have increased. Black adult drug use rates are only slightly higher than white (see next chart), while their imprisonment rates for drugs are enormous Among juveniles, blacks use illegal drugs less than whites, but black juveniles have much higher drug arrest rates.

Current Illicit Drug Use Among Adults (National Patterns) 6.6 percent for whites 6.8 percent for Hispanics 7.7 percent for blacks 10.6 percent for American Indian/Alaska Natives (this is largely marijuana, rates for other drugs are lower than other races) 11.2 percent for persons reporting multiple race 3.2 percent for Asians Source: 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse

Wisconsin Prison Admissions Time Trends 1990-1999 (Preliminary Data)

Wisconsin Prison Admissions by Race Black Asian white Hispanic AmerInd

Proportion of Admissions Involving New Sentences

White Admissions Status New Sentence Only Violation Only Violation + New

Blacks Admission Status New Sentence Only Violation Only Violation + New

Total admits, violations only AmerInd Black Hispanic white Asian

Total Admits, New Sentences Only Prison Admission by Race 1990-1999, New Sentence Only Black Asian white Hispanic AmerInd

Total Admits, Whites Wisconsin: White NH Total Prison Admissions Violent Robbery & Burglary Other Drugs Theft

Total Admits, Offense Blacks Violent Robbery & Burglary Other Drugs Theft

Total Admits, Hispanics Violent Robbery & Burglary Other Drugs Theft

Whites, Violators Violent Robbery & Burglary Other Drugs Theft

Black violators Violent Robbery & Burglary Other Drugs Theft

New Sentences, Whites Violent Robbery & Burglary OtherDrugsTheft

New Sentences, Blacks Offense Violent Robbery & Burglary Other Drugs Theft

Conclusions Huge racial disparities, especially black vs. white Probation/parole violators returning to prison are a major source of the rise Blacks show steep rises in new sentences for drugs, while whites show no increase White new sentences are primarily for violent offenses. Black new sentences are primarily for drug offenses.

County Comparisons

Compare Counties Whites New Sentences

Compare counties black, new sentences thick

Compare Counties, New Sentences B/w ratio

Compare counties, whites violations

Compare Counties, Blacks Violations

Compare Counties, Violations B/W ratio

Milwaukee New Totals AmerInd Black Hispanic white Asian

Milwaukee New Black Violent Robbery & Burglary Other Drugs Theft

Milwaukee New White Violent Robbery & Burglary Other Drugs Theft

Dane New Totals All Races AmerInd Black Hispanic white Asian

Dane New Black Violent Robbery & BurglaryOther Drugs Theft

Dane New White Violent Robbery & Burglary Other Drugs Theft

County Drug Disparities by Time

Prison Entry From Dane County 1999, by offense and race

Dane County Prison Admissions per 100,000 by race & offense, 1999 (Totals: Black 3361, White 87)

Black Prison Admission Rates From Dane & Milwaukee Counties 1998-2000 (annualized), new sentences

White Prison Admission Rates, Dane & Milwaukee Counties 1998-2000 (annualized), new sentences only

Arrest Rates in Madison & Milwaukee, 1998-1999 Source: Uniform Crime Reports Data obtained from Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance

Annual Arrest Rate Per 100,000 Madison PD 1998-1999

Adult Arrest Rates Per 100,000 Average 1998-1999

Juvenile Arrest Rates Per 100,000 Average 1998-1999

Madison PD Average Annual Adult Arrest Rate by Race, 1998-2000 “Serious” = homicide, sexual & aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, arson, auto theft “Wrong place” = loitering, curfew, vagrancy, runaways

Madison PD Average Annual Juvenile Arrest Rate by Race, 1998-2000 “Serious” = homicide, sexual & aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, arson, auto theft “Wrong place” = loitering, curfew, vagrancy, runaways

Black Juvenile Arrest Rates, Madison vs. Milwaukee 1998-2000 averages

White Juvenile Arrest Rates, Madison vs. Milwaukee 1998-2000 averages

Arrests 1997-1999 Averages: Adult Disparity Ratios

Arrests 1997-1999 Averages: Juvenile Disparity Ratios

Conclusions Drug war in Dane County (and Milwaukee County) is being fought “against blacks.” Probation/parole violation holds are a major source of arrests in Dane County, a major source of jail crowding. Large racial disparities in serious crimes indicate a real problem that needs to be addressed

Making Things Worse High imprisonment rates (including longer sentences, high rates of probation/parole revocation) are not a constructive way of dealing with the problem of non- violent property crimes (thefts) and drug offenses Enormous expenses to house these offenders in prison Destruction of offenders’ lives and and mortal harm to their families Because of racial targeting of the drug war, the harmful consequences of this policy are being concentrated in black communities, while the beneficiaries of the policy do not pay its price

Social Conditions, Political Processes, Crime, and Corrections

An Individual Life Course Model of Crime With Policing Added

Imprisonment as a Cause of Crime?