California sees historic arrest rate drop; arrests down nearly 60% – Black arrest rate down, but still nearly three times that of whites statewide

In this Feb. 26, 2013, file photo, inmates walk through the exercise yard at California State Prison Sacramento, near Folsom, Calif. California arrest rates have dropped nearly 60 percent since 1989, yet blacks are three times more likely to be arrested than whites, according to a report released by the Public Institute of California, Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

By DON THOMPSON,  Associated Press  SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) 12/04 — California is seeing a historic drop in arrests that still leaves blacks far more likely to wind up in handcuffs, particularly in San Francisco Bay Area counties, according to a report released Monday by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

The arrest rate statewide dropped nearly 60 percent since its peak in 1989. Three-fourths of the long-term drop involves misdemeanors, particularly for traffic and alcohol-related violations. Felony arrests for property and drug offenses fell substantially by 2016, the most recent year data were available, after voters lowered criminal penalties in 2014.

The split between the arrests of blacks and whites “has dropped remarkably” and is now at the lowest level since 1980, while the split between the arrests of Latinos and whites dropped dramatically to about a tenth of its peak in 1990, researchers found.

Yet African-Americans remain three times more likely to be arrested than whites statewide, even though blacks saw the biggest decline in arrest rates since the peak 30 years ago.

Those racial disparities “are prevalent in the vast majority of California counties,” researchers reported, though they have not yet studied factors contributing to the trends. Blacks were arrested at least twice as often as whites in 45 of the 49 counties included in the report; at least three times as frequently 33 counties; and at least five times as often in 13 counties.

“To what extent are they driven by economic factors, to what extent are they driven by concentration of crime, to what extent are they driven by other factors?” said report co-author Magnus Lofstrom. “To what extent bias plays a role is unclear.”

For instance, police could be concentrating on high-crime areas that also have a high minority concentration even in the relatively affluent coastal counties, he said

High arrest rates in small counties, especially those with small African-American populations, can be skewed by a small number of arrests, Lofstrom said. But the disparity is notably high in the Bay Area and to a lesser extent in large urban Southern California counties.

Black arrest rates in San Mateo County were nine times that for whites, and nearly eight times that in neighboring San Francisco. The rate was more than six times as high in Marin County, more than five times higher in Santa Clara County and four times higher than in Alameda County. San Mateo, Santa Clara and Marin counties also had an arrest rate for Latinos at least twice as high as for whites.

Spokesmen for law enforcement agencies in each Bay Area county did not immediately comment.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson noted that the crime rates are given county-wide: “One agency could arrest a lot of people and skew the statistics.”

The black arrest rate is lower but still nearly four times that of whites in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.

The disclosure comes amid a continuing national debate over the slayings of black and Latino men by police and efforts to train police to disregard any inherent bias.

“We’re always the target, we’re easy prey,” said Alice Huffman, president of the NAACP state office in California. “They make their quotas on the backs of minority people.”

“Broadly, the trend of declining arrest rates aligns with falling crime rates over the past few decades,” Lofstrom wrote.

The report also cites sweeping changes in the criminal justice system from the get-tough era of the 1980s and 1990s to recent efforts to ease mass incarceration of juveniles and adults.

Two-thirds of arrests in 2016 were of those ages 18 to 39, but the long-term overall drop in arrest rates is largely due to declines among juveniles and young adults. Arrests of women increased to about a quarter from 14 percent in the early 1980s.

___

Public Policy Institute of California: https://www.ppic.org/

 

https://www.apnews.com/4f43942b46d64490888f8f493161a72c

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Posted in: Arrests, Crime & Criminals, Racial Issues, Studies & Statistics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.