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In the News

Institute Statement on Latino Youth Incarceration Disparity Rates

October 12, 2017

New Jersey has one of the worst incarceration disparity rates for Latino youth in the country, according to The Sentencing Project’s new fact sheet. Latino youth in New Jersey are five times more likely than white youth to be incarcerated. This research comes just a few weeks after The Sentencing Project released a report showing that Black youth in New Jersey are more than 30 times more likely to be incarcerated than their white peers – the worst disparity rate in the country.

Institute President and CEO Ryan Haygood issued the following statement in response to The Sentencing Project’s new fact sheet:

“Once again, New Jersey leads the country in racial disparities. Latino kids are five times and Black kids are 30 times more likely to be incarcerated than their white peers. These disparities are not because children of color are more criminally culpable than white children. It is because of a racially discriminatory justice system that treats children of color as throwaway kids and disproportionately funnels them into prison. But we are clear on this point: There are no throwaway kids.  These staggering racial disparities are just one of the many reasons why we must close New Jersey’s youth prisons and reinvest in the creation of a youth justice system that treats all kids as kids, with limitless possibilities.”

Out of the 222 youth who are incarcerated in the state’s three youth prisons as of January 1, 2017, just 13 are white, 61 are “Hispanic,” and 148 are Black, according to a document received via an OPRA request by the Institute. 

In The Sentencing Project’s announcement, they noted that, “while the fact sheets only highlight incarceration disparities, differential treatment of youth of color – not differences in behaviors – drives the scale of the disparities.” This important point was echoed in Institute Associate Counsel Andrea McChristian’s recent OpEd for the Star Ledger in which she wrote that racial discrimination causes these disparities.

Andrea McChristian: How discrimination is sending more Black kids to prison

October 10, 2017

Institute Associate Counsel Andrea McChristian writes for the Star Ledger:

It's usually a good thing to be No. 1. New Jersey, however, is a leader in two intolerable ways: Our state has the highest rate of black-white youth incarceration disparity and the highest rate of black-white adult state prison incarceration disparity in the country.

A black child in New Jersey is 30.64 times more likely to be incarcerated than a white child, according to a fact sheet by the Sentencing Project. This is a rate double that of the second state on the list, Wisconsin...

Upcoming Events

Fri, Oct 13, 2017
08:30 AM

1919 NW Connecticut Ave, Washington, DC 20009, United States The Washington Hilton
Washington, DC

In Solidarity We Rise: Healing, Opportunity and Justice for Girls

Retha Onitiri, Manager of the 150 Years is Enough campaign, and Andrea McChristian, Institute Associate Counsel, will be leading a workshop on girls and the youth justice system entitled The Forgot...

Wed, Oct 18, 2017
06:00 PM

351 Charleston Rd, Willingboro, NJ 08046, United States Foster Military Lodge
Willingboro, NJ

150 Years is Enough October Campaign Meeting

Please join us at the 150 Years is Enough Campaign meeting and learn how you can help abolish youth incarceration in New Jersey.   

Thu, Oct 19, 2017
06:00 PM

67 Church St, Montclair , NJ 07042, United States Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair
Montclair , NJ

150 Years is Enough: Organize for Our Youth

150 Years is Enough Field Organizer James Williams will deliver a presentation on the campaign to end youth incarceration and transform youth justice in New Jersey. RSVP here: http://bit.ly/2fDck7I...

Fri, Oct 27, 2017
08:30 AM

126 College Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States Rutgers University College Avenue Student Center
New Brunswick, NJ

2017 Poverty Summit: Dismantling Poverty

Ryan P. Haygood will be a keynote speaker at the 2017 Poverty Summit, hosted by the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey. Also, at the Summit Institute Associate Counsel Scott Novakowski will speak o...

Given the significant challenges we face, we have only two options: to embrace chaos or embrace community. We choose community. Join us as we work to bend our neighborhoods toward the beloved community.


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