SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi wants to pull the curtain back on racial disparity in the justice system to determine how much race plays a part in arrests, charging and sentencing by launching an ambitious study that will examine a decade’s worth of cases.
It’s a lot of data to sift through; there are thousands of cases sorted by arrests, judges, prosecutor, bails and sentences.
Adachi point outs that while 6 percent of San Francisco residents are African-American yet they represent 56 percent of jail inmates.
“When we start looking at bails I expect that we’re going to find that certain judges set higher bails for African-American and Latino defendants,” Adachi said.READ MORE: Oakland City Council Votes To Increase Police Staffing
“We have to make this known and get this conversation going because I think that once they’re aware of what the statistics show, we’ll see a change in behavior.”
The study will explore how age, ethnicity, or job status figure in to the status of bail. The higher the bail, Adachi said, the more likely a defendant will plead guilty to get out of jail.
The study which, carried out by Public Defender’s Office and the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, will seek the invisible, “unconscious bias” that may come into play during arrests, prosecutions or plea deals.
Adachi said that San Francisco accounts for one-third of all drug arrests for young, black women statewide and that the reasons why needed to be found.MORE NEWS: Bay Area Remembers 1941 Attack On Pearl Harbor That Changed America Forever
Preliminary results of the study are expected within a year.