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Racial Disparities in Pretrial Diversion: An Analysis of Outcomes Among Men Charged With Felonies and Processed in State Courts (2013)

  • Organization: Department of Sociology, DePaul University
  • Author: Traci Schlesinger
  • Document Type: Brief/Motion Papers
  • Date Created: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
  • Submitted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
  • Attachment(s): LINK

In this report, Traci Schlesinger examines racial disparities in the rates in which prosecutors granted pretrial diversions to men charged with felonies in metropolitan counties. She finds that, "Overall, prosecutors are more likely to grant pretrial diversions to White defendants than they are to grant these diversions to Black, Latino, or Asian and Native American defendants with similar legal characteristics" ­- specifically, at rates that are 28%, 13%, and 31% lower, respectively. This pattern held true for drug offenses, but not for property and violent offenses. Schlesinger also found that while black drug defendants fared worse than whites regardless of past felony drug convictions, Latinos with prior convictions fared similar to whites.

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