ACLU: Miami-Dade's Criminal Justice System Is Completely Scewed

The American Civil Liberties Union says that there are a NUMBER of disparities when it comes to racial and ethnic justice throughout Miami-Dade County. 

In a report out today, the ACLU says it analyzed county data on all adult criminal defendants from 2010 to 2015, examining arrests, bonding and pretrial detention, charging and disposition, and sentencing. 

According to the ACLU, Miami-Dade County's justice system treats minority ethnicities and races a lot more harshly. 

Compared to whites, the report says non-Hispanic blacks face 2.2 times greater rates of arrest, 2.3 times greater rates of pretrial detention, 2.5 times greater rates of conviction, and 2.5 times greater rates of incarceration.

The disparity is even worse for black Hispanics in Miami-Dade County, who, compared to whites and according to the report, are subject to four times greater rates of arrest, 4.5 times greater rates of pretrial detention, 5.5 times greater rates of conviction, and six times greater rates of incarceration.

Overall findings resulted in "...disadvantages for Black defendants and neighborhoods while resulting in advantages for White defendants and neighborhoods."

The ACLU report continues, "This report demonstrates that race and ethnicity shape Miami-Dade County’s criminal justice system. Race and ethnicity shape a person’s involvement in the criminal justice system and in the system’s outcomes."

The bottom line: The ACLU says Miami-Dade's criminal justice system is completely biased.

"White defendants, whether Hispanic or non-Hispanic, are more likely to be filtered out of the system early through prosecutorial decisions not to file or to reduce or drop charges, resulting in lower rates of conviction and incarceration for white defendants overall relative to black defendants overall," the report adds.  

Furthermore, the ACLU warns that discriminatory policing is ruining Miami's communities of color and diversity. 

When entire neighborhoods and classes of people are subject to constant arrest and police surveillance, the "'collateral consequences' of mass incarceration serve to weaken communities with already few resources, further increasing racial and ethnic inequality," the ACLU writes. 

The report is a joint effort of the ACLU of Florida and its Greater Miami Chapter, and is authored by sociologists from the University of Miami.  

You can read the entire findings, here.

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