BALTIMORE — A report, released by University of Maryland researched entitled ‘Racial justice in prosecution in Baltimore City’ finds that despite the racial demographics of Baltimore City, Blacks are overrepresented in arrests and Circuit Court felony cases.
It states that racial disparities in the criminal justice system represent an enduring social problem and a perennial concern for citizens, practitioners, and policymakers.
According to the report, on average Black defendants face more serious charges and are overrepresented in violent, firearms, and drug offenses while white defendants are overrepresented in property offenses such as burglary and theft.
They state Black defendants are slightly less likely to be convicted and more likely to have their cases dismissed. They are also less likely to plead guilty and more likely to face “War Room” charges.
The findings also help identify additional avenues for improving racial equity in prosecution.
"Overall, the general pattern of results does not suggest overarching or systemic patterns of racial disparity in the prosecution of Baltimore City Circuit court cases, but it does suggest some important policy implications, data improvements, and future research directions, which are discussed and elaborated in the Conclusion of the Report," they detail.
The report states that the results provide an important initial assessment of racial equity in prosecution in Baltimore City Circuit Court, "but a complete evaluation will require additional analyses of case processing decisions in District Court and in Traffic and Problem-Solving Courts".
The full report can be read here.