Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sentencing Project on Racial Impact Statements

Via Real Cost of Prisons:

An article by Marc Mauer, Director of the Sentencing Project, in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law that proposes the development of "Racial Impact Statements" as a means of assessing the impact of proposed sentencing policies.In “Racial Impact Statements as a Means of Reducing Unwarranted Sentencing Disparities”, he suggests that these statements have much in common with fiscal and environmental impact statements that have become commonplace at many levels of government. The goal of a racial impact statement would be to assess the projected impact of new sentencing legislation on racial and ethnic minorities prior to enactment of the policy. If the statement indicates that unwarranted sentencing disparities might be produced, legislators would have the opportunity of considering alternative means of achieving public safety goals that would not exacerbate existing disparities.

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