Monday, December 17

Justice isn't color blind in Larimer County

A new report from the Justice Policy Institute in D.C. has found that 97 percent of the nation’s large-population counties imprison African Americans for drug offenses at higher rates than whites. The study looked at seven Colorado counties, including our own, which demonstrated the national trend: African Americans in Larimer County are admitted to prison for a drug offense at four times the rate of whites.

The county's overall drug admissions rate placed us 143rd out of the 198 counties surveyed in the report.

“This important report shows how pervasive racism is in the enforcement of drug laws. It’s not an anomaly when the same findings are reported in 97 percent of the nation’s larger counties,” said Christie Donner, Executive Director of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, in a press release.

African Americans make up less than one percent of our county population, but racially biased treatment in Northern Colorado from law enforcement authorities and the criminal justice system certainly exists.

To check out the report, titled, "The Vortex: The Concentrated Racial Impact of Drug Imprisonment and the Characteristics of Punitive Counties," and an interactive map that connects to county-specific fact sheets, click here.

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