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October 19, 2008 (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

If you're arrested for drugs, you're more likely to get a second chance if you're white

The Cleveland Plain Dealer examined hundreds of drug cases in an effort to gauge whether black defendants receive different treatment than white defendants in the Cleveland area criminal justice system. The results of the investigation have revealed that there is, in fact, a racial disparity: Since 2000, African Americans have been 12.7 times more likely than their white counterparts to be sent to a state prison from Cuyahoga County on drug charges. Further, it was reported that black, first-time offenders were 66 percent more likely to receive a felony offense for a drug conviction than whites, who were more likely to be diverted to a treatment program.



Issue Area(s): Sentencing Policy, Incarceration, Racial Disparity, Drug Policy, Crack Reform
State(s): Ohio