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Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice Outcomes: Lessons from California’s Recent Reforms

by Brandon Martin; Magnus Lofstrom; Steven Raphael

Feb 17, 2021

The recent protests and civil unrest that marked the death of George Floyd and other African Americans in police custody gave voice to real and significant racial disparities in our criminal justice system. In California, like the rest of the nation, these disparities—especially those between African Americans and whites—are large and widespread. Encouragingly, some recent reforms appear to be making headway in reducing racial and ethnic differences in arrest, booking, and incarceration rates.