Cost of Criminal Justice Higher for Young Black Men

  1. Race and Inequality

Key Findings


  • Cumulative disadvantages, impact a defendant’s bond amount, pretrial detention, their treatment by police and the courts, and their ability to find employment upon release.

Description


Black men face greater obstacles and harsher penalties than other offenders as they move through the criminal justice system, from higher bond amounts to more severe prison sentences. The research examined the cases of 3,459 defendants indicted on felony charges in an urban U.S. jurisdiction and found that young black men face “cumulative disadvantages” throughout the criminal justice process. The authors found that these disadvantages—in which negative events lead to further disadvantages—impact a defendant’s bond amount, pretrial detention, their treatment by police and the courts, and their ability to find employment upon release.

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