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Measuring Social Equity Performance in the Criminal Justice System

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Department of Political Science & Public Administration. Measuring Social Equity Performance ... National Academy of Public Administration. February 2, 2006 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Measuring Social Equity Performance in the Criminal Justice System


1
Measuring Social Equity Performance in the
Criminal Justice System
  • James R. Brunet
  • 5th Annual Social Equity Leadership Conference
  • National Academy of Public Administration
  • February 2, 2006

2
Introduction
  • Performance measurement is a fact of life in
    contemporary public organizations
  • Criminal justice agencies have long history of
    tracking workload, efficiency, and effectiveness
  • Lack measures to assess an agencys progress in
    promoting social equity
  • Research Purpose Explore the possibility of
    measuring social equity at different points in
    the criminal justice system

3
What is Social Equity?
  • Fairness in the delivery of public services it
    is egalitarianism in actionthe principle that
    each citizen, regardless of economic resources or
    personal traits, deserves and has a right to be
    given equal treatment by the political system
    (Shafritz Russsell 2005, 434)
  • Types (Svara Brunet 2004)
  • Procedural Fairness due process, equal
    protection
  • Access/Distributional Equity how services are
    delivered
  • Quality is quality of police service similar in
    all parts of city?
  • Outcome do government actions lead to unequal
    results

4
Why Should Public Agencies Measure Social
Equity?
  • 1) Salient Issue in All Institutions of Justice
  • Police (Durose, Schmitt and Langan 2005)
  • Black and Hispanic motorists were three times
    more likely to be physically searched during a
    traffic stop compared to whites
  • Blacks and Hispanics were more likely to assert
    that police use of force was unwarranted

5
Why Should Public Agencies Measure Social
Equity?
  • Courts (Spohn 2000)
  • Blacks and Hispanics, especially those who are
    young, male, and unemployed, were more likely to
    receive a prison sentence than white offenders
  • Minorities receive harsher sentences than whites
    if they are detained in jail before trial, are
    represented by a public defender rather than
    private counsel, or are convicted at trial rather
    than accepting a plea
  • 13 percent of black men are ineligible to vote
    due to a felony conviction (Sentencing Project
    2005)

6
Why Should Public Agencies Measure Social
Equity?
  • Corrections (Harrison and Beck 2005)
  • Young African-American males (25-29 years of age)
    were seven times more likely to be imprisoned
    than white males (Hispanic males were twice as
    likely)
  • Blacks and Hispanics comprised 60 percent of all
    federal and state inmates while representing only
    one-quarter of American citizens

7
Why Should Public Agencies Measure Social
Equity?
  • 2) Public administrators have an affirmative duty
    to promote constitutional principles including
    equality, fairness, representativeness,
    responsiveness, and due process
  • 3) Through their exercise of discretion and
    provision of expert advice to elected officials,
    public administrators are in a position to make
    an impact on illegitimate disparity

8
Police Social Equity Measures
  • Community policing paradigm necessitates new
    types of performance measures. Some examples

9
Court Social Equity Measures
  • Comparisons to police experience, centralized
    planning v. ad hoc

10
Prison Social Equity Measures
  • The straggler institution

11
Implications for Administrators
  • Many social equity indicators rely on existing
    data sources not too hard to implement
  • Social equity is multi-dimensional have to look
    at a range of measures
  • Issue is critically important in criminal justice
    system compounding effect of disparity
  • Some disparity causing factors may be outside the
    control of administrators
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