Minorities more likely to do TIME

Mike Steindel (CLaw7MAn@webtv.net)
Sun, 14 Feb 1999 17:35:28 -0800 (PST)


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I just saw this again...Whats the deal with all these studies that
always come to the same conclusion. Instead of studying the problem why
is it nothing is ever done to correct the wrong...It is wrong to treat
drug use with JAIL...I think these things have been studied to death its
time to learn from our studies....People without money go to JAIL. Non
whites go to JAIL more often. Non whites without money always go to
JAIL, Guilty or Innocent....Those are what the results of almost all the
studies have always found...Lets stop funding the studies and change
things for the better... Learn how you can register to vote... Go to
www.fec.gov  because other than revolution "which is not gonna happen"
its the best way to make a difference....Here is the study....

Study shows minorities more likely to do time for drug-related crimes By
Associated Press, 02/14/99 14:10 

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Minorities in Connecticut are more likely to do
prison time for drug crimes than whites, according to a legislative
report. 

The study by the General Assembly's Office of Legislative Research found
that while 62 percent of those arrested on drug offenses in 1997 were
white, that group made up only 11 percent of those serving prison time
for drug convictions. 
Statistics from the U.S. Justice Department show that blacks account for
38 percent of those arrested for drug offenses nationally and 59 percent
of those convicted. 

Mike Lawlor, the House chairman of the Legislature's Judiciary
committee, said he's disturbed by the numbers, but doesn't believe
police, prosecutors or judges are racist. 

He said part of the reason for the statistics may be that anti-drug
efforts normally take place in the cities, where many of those caught
buying are white, and those charged with the more serious offenses tend
to be minorities. 

''I think the way the drug laws are enforced tends to focus primarily on
blacks and Latinos in terms of selling,'' Lawlor said. ''Therefore, you
have most of the arrests of the big shots taking place there.'' 

Nicholas Pastore, the former New Haven police chief who runs the New
Haven office of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, said he thinks
minorities in the city tend to buy more often, but in less quantity,
than wealthier whites from the suburbs. 

''You don't buy as often, so you have less risk, but you buy more
weight,'' said Pastore. ''Where as a person in the city might live on
$10 at a time, a person in middle or upper middle class America lives on
$100 or $1,000 at a time.'' 

The result is poor and minority drug suspects often have previous
records, he said. And that means a longer sentence. 
Lawlor said he will advocate training several members of the state Board
of Parole and members of the staff in substance abuse. 

Those officials would be assigned to consider parole bids of prisoners
identified as having drug problems. The prisoners could get time knocked
off their sentences by undergoing drug treatment in prison and after
being released, he said. 
Craig Parker, a University of New Haven professor of criminal justice,
said he thinks a number of factors probably account for the disparity in
drug cases. 

But he said he thinks any analysis must consider racism. He noted many
studies have shown that minorities are more likely to face the death
penalty - especially those convicted of killing whites - than whites
are. 

''I think one has to raise questions about race up and down the criminal
justice system,'' Parker said. 


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