Policing, Mass Incarceration and Community Trauma | Summary and Q&A

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March 13, 2017
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Stanford
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Policing, Mass Incarceration and Community Trauma

TL;DR

Panelists discuss the failures of the justice system to provide equal justice under law, the role of police in perpetuating racial disparities, and the need for alternative approaches such as restorative justice and gradual decarceration.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What evidence shows the failures of the justice system to realize equal justice under law?

The evidence includes reports from the Department of Justice on racial bias in policing, cases of racial profiling, and the disproportionate targeting and mistreatment of African-Americans by law enforcement.

Q: What is the role of police in perpetuating racial disparities within the justice system?

Police policies and practices, such as stop and frisk and aggressive tactics, disproportionately target African-American and Latino communities, leading to harassment, violence, and the degradation of citizenship.

Q: How can procedural justice and diversifying police forces contribute to addressing the issues within the justice system?

Procedural justice, which focuses on respectful and fair treatment by police, can help build trust between communities and law enforcement. Diversifying police forces is important, but it alone cannot solve the systemic issues of racial bias and racial profiling.

Q: How can restorative justice models and reconciliation commissions help in building stronger communities and addressing racial disparities?

Restorative justice models focus on reducing encounters between law enforcement and communities, improving the quality of these encounters, and promoting accountability. Reconciliation commissions can help address historical trauma and institutional racism, fostering healing and community connections.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Panelists address the lack of equal justice under law and the failures of the justice system, particularly in relation to communities of color.

  • They discuss the role of police in racially biased policing and the need for accountability and reform within the police force.

  • The panelists emphasize the importance of alternative approaches, such as restorative justice and gradual decarceration, to address the systemic issues within the justice system.

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