Friday, February 18, 2011

Race and the Criminal Justice System

People of color are over-represented at every stage of the criminal justice system, from arrest through sentencing and incarceration.

Paula Ditton Henzel, Disproportionality and Disparity in Adult Felony Sentencing 2003 (Wash. State Sentencing Guidelines Comm'n, [2003]).

What are the causes, effects, and possible cures for this serious disproportionality?

A state-wide Task Force on Race and the Criminal Justice System has been meeting for the last few months and will meet with the Washington Supreme Court March 2.

The Law Library has prepared a guide, linking to Washington State studies and other materials. See Race in the Criminal Justice System.

Next Thursday, the UW Minority Law Students Association presents a panel, Racial Disparity & The Criminal Justice System, 3:30-5:

Seattle University School of Law is also having speakers on this and related topics as part of its Diversity Week 2011. Thursday afternoon has a CLE, Advocacy Strategies for Protecting Civil Rights (3:30-5:30), followed by a reception (5:30-7:30):
The reception following the CLE will provide a forum to discuss how lawyers, law students and community members can address racial bias in the criminal justice system. The discussion will be facilitated by the Co-Chairs of the Task Force on Race and the Criminal Justice System, Professor Robert Chang, director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, and Judge Steven González, chair of the WA Access to Justice Board.
If you're inspired by the UW panel, you can hop up Capitol Hill for the reception at SU.

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