Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Two Powerful Signals of a Major Shift on Crime

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

(NY Times) Two decisions Monday, one by a federal judge in New York and the other by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., were powerful signals that the pendulum has swung away from the tough-on-crime policies of a generation ago.

Critics have long contended that draconian mandatory minimum sentence laws for low-level drug offenses, as well as stop-and-frisk police policies that target higher-crime and minority neighborhoods, have a disproportionate impact on members of minority groups. On Monday, Mr. Holder announced that federal prosecutors would no longer invoke the sentencing laws, and a judge found that stop-and-frisk practices in New York were unconstitutional racial profiling.

While the timing was a coincidence, Barbara Arnwine, the president of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said that the effect was “historic, groundbreaking, and potentially game-changing.”

Full story…

SFPD underreports Latino, Asian arrests

Saturday, August 18th, 2012


(SFGate) The San Francisco Police Department has underreported the arrest rates of the city's two largest minority groups for years, classifying Latino arrestees as "white" and Asian American suspects as "other," according to agency records and police officials.


The state has been publishing the erroneous statistics in a report tracking arrests by race and ethnicity since at least 1999, when the California Department of Justice began posting the data online, a Bay Citizen investigation found.


Because of the way the Police Department classifies suspects, the city and federal and state officials have no accurate record of how often Latinos and Asian Americans are arrested in San Francisco. The Police Department blames an antiquated computer system, which officials say offers no alternative to listing an arrestee as "black," "white" or "other."

Full story…

Incarceration: when HIV infection does discriminate

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012


(Guardian) The last thing you want to find out when you're serving out a jail sentence for drug possession is that you are HIV positive. That is what happened to Waheedah Shabbazz-El, a former US postal worker who developed a serious drug addiction that ultimately led to her being sent to prison for six months.

"Jail is a terrible place to find out you have Aids," Waheedah said. She later learned that as an incarcerated African American, she already had two strikes against her when it came to the likelihood of being diagnosed with HIV. Increasingly, it seems the two issues are more than a little intertwined.

The rate of HIV among prisoners in America is five to seven times higher than it is among the general population, with African Americans and African-American women, in particular, having far higher rates of infection than any other group. Black Americans are seven times more likely than white Americans to become infected.

Full story…

Hate Crimes Against Latinos Spike

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

(Care2) The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics report was released on November 14, and the numbers show a dramatic spike in crimes against Latinos.

The number was up 11% since last year to 66.6 percent of victims of ethnically motivated hate crimes in 2010. In California, they went up 50%.

These figures for those targeted because of anti-Latino bias are the highest percentage in almost a decade.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said of a previous spike in 2007:

There’s no doubt that the tone of the raging national debate over immigration is growing uglier by the day. Once limited to hard-core white supremacists and a handful of border-state extremists, vicious public denunciations of undocumented brown-skinned immigrants are increasingly common among supposedly mainstream anti-immigration activists, radio hosts and politicians. While their dehumanizing rhetoric typically stops short of openly sanctioning bloodshed, much of it implicitly encourages or even endorses violence by characterizing immigrants from Mexico and Central America as “invaders,” “criminal aliens” and “cockroaches.”

Full story…

Hispanics new majority sentenced to federal prison

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

( More than half of all people sent to federal prison for committing felony crimes so far this year were Hispanic, a major demographic shift swollen by immigration offenses, according to a new government report released Tuesday.

Hispanics already outnumber all other ethnic groups sentenced to serve time in prison for federal felonies.

Hispanics reached a new milestone for the first time this year, making up the majority all federal felony offenders sentenced in the first nine months of fiscal year 2011, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Hispanics comprised 50.3 percent of all people sentenced in that time period, blacks 19.7 percent and whites 26.4 percent.

In comparison, last year Hispanics made up just 16 percent of the whole U.S. population.

Full story…

Oakland Effect: Could increased diversity help stem crime?

Monday, July 11th, 2011

(insideBayArea) This is an excerpt from reporter Scott Johnson's blog, which focuses on the impact of violence and trauma on the community. Go to for updates on his reporting.

Richard Florida, a writer for the Atlantic Monthly and the director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, recently penned an interesting article making the case that the nationwide drop in crime statistics over the past several years may be due, at least in part, to an increase in diversity.

Across the board, crime has decreased, from rape to robbery to aggravated assault, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. Much of the decrease has been recorded in the 100 biggest American cities, and in particular in those neighborhoods with high concentrations of low-income and minority populations. This, says Florida, bucks the trend, and is puzzling.

Here's Florida, writing in the Atlantic:

"The key factor, as it turns out, lies in the growing racial, ethnic, and demographic diversity of our cities and metro areas. Our analysis found that the Hispanic share of the population is negatively associated with urban crime. Crime also fell as the percentage of the population that is nonwhite and the percentage that is gay increased. And of all the variables in our analysis, the one that is most consistently negatively associated with crime is a place's percentage of foreign-born residents.

Not only did we find a negative correlation (-. 36) between foreign-born share and crime in general, the pattern held across all of the many, various types of crime — from murder and arson to burglary and car theft."

Full story…

Young Black, Hispanic Men Likely To Be Jobless, Imprisoned Or Dead

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

(News One) According a new study by the College Board’s Advocacy & Policy Center, young Black and Hispanic men are heading down a socially downward spiral.

The study found that 51 percent of Hispanic males and 45 percent of African American males ages 15-24 will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead.

ABC News Channel 3 in North Carolina Reports:

"The College Board report on educational experience observed, “…Men, especially minority men, lag behind their female counterparts in college access, educational attainment and employment. Minority men outpace their female counterparts only in negative post-secondary outcomes: unemployment, incarceration and death.”

In order to accomplish President Obama’s goal of the United States retaking its position as the world’s best educated nation, improvements must be made in the rate men of color enroll in and graduate from college, the report stated."

Subscribe to RSS feed