Giving Compass’ Take:
• Wendy Sawyer reports that pretrial detention, a harmful practice with life-altering consequences, disproportionately impacts people of color.
• How can funders work to reduce the use of pretrial detention, especially for people of color?
• Learn more about the damage caused by pretrial detention.
Being jailed before trial is no small matter: It can throw a defendant’s life into disarray and make it more likely that they will plead guilty just to get out of jail. As advocates bring national attention to these harms of pretrial detention, many places – most recently New Jersey, California, New York, and Colorado – have passed reforms intended to dramatically reduce pretrial populations.
But it’s not enough to simply bring pretrial populations down: Another central goal of pretrial reform must be to eliminate racial bias in decisions about who is detained pretrial and who is allowed to go free. Historically, Black and brown defendants have been more likely to be jailed before trial than white defendants. And recent evidence from New Jersey and Kentucky shows that while some reforms have helped reduce pretrial populations, they’ve had little or no impact on reducing racial disparities.
Read the full article about race and pretrial detention by Wendy Sawyer at Prison Policy Initiative.
Race and Ethnicity is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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