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Public Statements

Ending Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System


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I recently added my support to a bill that would examine the causes of racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system and develop proposals for reducing or eliminating them.

People of color, particularly African Americans and Latinos, are disproportionately arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned for low-level drug crimes. This inequality is one of the most profound civil rights issues facing America today and it must be addressed.

The Justice Integrity Act, H.R. 1771, would require the Attorney General to establish a pilot program in 10 U.S. judicial districts to promote fairness in the federal criminal justice system and to determine whether legislation is required. It requires the criminal justice system to work with community groups in developing an action plan, which would be a positive step in ending this injustice and restoring public trust in the integrity of the criminal justice system.

The bill also calls for the Attorney General to submit a comprehensive report to Congress at the end of the pilot program, outlining the results from all 10 judicial districts and recommended best practices.

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