Race and Criminal Justice
The effect of the War on Drugs on communities of color has been tragic: Sentencing disparities and selective enforcement of drug laws mean that there are more black people under the control of prison and corrections departments today than were ever enslaved by this country. Despite the fact that whites engage in drug offenses at a higher rate than blacks do, blacks are incarcerated for drug offenses at a rate that is 10 times greater than that of whites.
Some progress has been made: In 2010, Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA), which represents a decade-long, bipartisan effort to reduce the racial disparities caused by draconian crack cocaine sentencing laws and restore confidence in the criminal justice system—particularly in communities of color. And in 2011, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to retroactively apply the new FSA guidelines to individuals sentenced before the law was enacted. This decision will help ensure that over 12,000 people—85 percent of whom are black—will have the opportunity to have their sentences for crack cocaine offenses reviewed by a federal judge and possibly reduced.
But there is still much to be done. It’s time to end the unjust, un-American, and unsuccessful War on Drugs.
- Legal DocumentAugust 11, 2016
The Hard Truth of the Minneapolis Black Lives Matter Protests: Communities of Color Have No Trust in Their Police ForceBlog Post - Speak FreelyNovember 19, 2015
- VideoAugust 11, 2016
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyApril 14, 2015
- ReportJanuary 27, 2016
ACLU: Black Motorists in Florida Cited for Seatbelt Violations Nearly Twice as Often as White MotoristsNews/Press ReleaseJanuary 27, 2016
- Blog Post - Speak FreelySeptember 30, 2016
- CaseSeptember 27, 2016
- Blog Post - Speak FreelySeptember 2, 2016
Statement of Concern About Predictive Policing by ACLU and 16 Civil Rights Privacy, Racial Justice, and Technology OrganizationsOtherAugust 31, 2016
- News/Press ReleaseAugust 25, 2016
- CaseAugust 11, 2016