Time and time again, today’s media shares troubling tales of the divide between law enforcement and the African American population here within the United States. As the tensions have risen, the American Bar Association and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund have joined forces to issue a call to action on eliminating bias in the criminal justice system.
The joint statement released earlier this month addresses the skepticism of the American people regarding the lack of integrity within our criminal justice system and demands we within the legal profession work to eliminate the racial bias undermining that integrity.
With this crisis of confidence ensuing, the ABA and NAACP called for a wide array of provisions, including the following:
- More complete and comprehensive data collection on interactions between law enforcement and citizens, and more transparency from prosecutors’ offices on the use of prosecutorial discretion.
- More training and assistance for all members of the justice system on the problems that can occur from real or perceived bias.
- Promotion of dialogue about the criminal justice process between representatives of the judiciary, law enforcement and prosecutors, defenders and defense counsel, probation and parole officers and community organizations as well the community.
- More accountability and quicker response to issues that arise.
- A better understanding of the collateral consequences of convictions and the damage they can inflict on individuals who have paid their debt to society.
For additional information regarding the recent announcement, view the complete ABA press release.