Giving Compass' Take:

• Research from the prison policy institute spotlights 10 facts about policing in America that shed light on the national conversation of racial justice and police brutality. 

• How can this research help inform charitable giving in regards to supporting criminal justice reform and policing?

• Read more about the impact of police violence on black communities during COVID-19.

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.
  2.  Over 4.9 million people are arrested each year. 
  3. Most policing has little to do with real threats to public safety: the vast majority of arrests are for low-level offenses. Only 5% of all arrests are for serious violent offenses.
  4.  Policing criminal law violations costs taxpayers over $63 billion each year.
  5. People who are Black and/or poor are more likely to be arrested, and to be arrested repeatedly.
  6.  People with mental illnesses or substance use disorders are also more likely to be arrested, and to be arrested repeatedly. 
  7. Women make up a growing share of arrests and report much more use of force than they did 20 years ago, with Black women most likely to be targeted.
  8. Disabled people represent a disproportionate number of those stopped, arrested, and killed by police.
  9.  Data confirms that police treat Black Americans with less respect.
  10. State and federal law enforcement practices target poor Black and Latinx residents.

Read the full article about policing in America by Wendy Sawyer at Prison Policy Initiative.