Zhang Tackles Misperceptions Of Racial Bias Inward Policing


Racial bias

Yan Zhang presented a report on racial bias to an international offense analyst grouping on how information tin sack hold upwards used to address key issues inwards policing.

Yan Zhang, an associate professor inwards the Department of Criminal Justice in addition to Criminology, was invited to an international conference of offense analysts to acquaint her latest question on racial bias inwards policing.

Zhang attended the International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA) Training Session inwards New Orleans, a grouping of professional person offense analysts dedicated to improving their skills, making the best purpose of offense analysis, advocating for standards of functioning in addition to techniques, in addition to networking alongside contacts across the world. Zhang presented on a panel sponsored past times the National Institute of Justice that highlighted how information tin sack help inform constabulary practices, especially involving the misperception of racial bias which tin sack alienate to a greater extent than or less of the communities served.

Zhang’s research, “Community Racial Characteristics in addition to Police Decision to Arrest inwards Traffic Stops” examined traffic stops that led to arrests at the Houston Police Department. She constitute that constabulary decisions to arrest overwhelmingly are driven past times neighborhood grade factors, rather than the race of the private arrested. Among the other issues tackled past times the NIJ panel were a model that tin sack hold upwards used to demonstrate how traffic stops are aimed at reducing offense rather than maximizing arrests of minorities in addition to a novel method to do an internal benchmark for identifying bias inwards traffic stops.

Race remains a key number inwards American policing, including racial profiling inwards constabulary decisions to stop, search, in addition to arrest motorists. Most studies focus on the human relationship betwixt driver characters in addition to constabulary actions at an private level. Zhang adopted a multi-level model to report the interaction betwixt constabulary in addition to earth during traffic stops using community-level factors also every bit geographic patterns.

The report was based on racial profiling information from the Houston Police Department inwards 2010. The subdivision recorded nearly 500,000 traffic stops that twelvemonth in addition to one-third occurred on interstate highways. Nearly all of the remaining stops were geocoded (88 percent), in addition to the report constitute to a greater extent than than 1 inwards 5 stops in addition to arrests occurred inwards an areas containing alone 1 pct of all metropolis addresses. In those areas, Hispanics comprised 46 pct of the population, Black were 25 pct of the population and, Asians accounted for six pct of the population.

Of these 278,178 traffic stops inwards neighborhoods, thirteen pct resulted inwards an arrest. Black drivers were the close probable to hold upwards arrested at 13.9 percent, followed past times Hispanic drivers at 13.1 pct in addition to White drivers at 12.8 percent. These private grade racial variations, however, were no longer pregnant later controlling for community grade racial variations. In contrast, the concentration of Blacks, Hispanics or other minorities inwards communities is significantly associated alongside the lead chances of beingness arrested past times police.

“These findings imply that constabulary decisions to arrest inwards traffic stops were probable to hold upwards to a greater extent than aggressive in addition to targeted inwards communities where at that spot were high concentrations of Blacks, Hispanics, or other minorities,” said Zhang. “This form of aggressive in addition to targeted policing may largely demand “contextual” reactions that may tumble out without consciousness. . . these contextual racial biases may hold upwards tied to constabulary organizational contexts where institutional discrimination may be intentionally or unintentionally. ”

“Alternatively, officeholder decisions to arrest may hold upwards influenced past times other intangible neighborhood characteristics. Regardless, residents inwards minority, especially Black concentrated communities, are probable to accept impressions in addition to perceptions that they are targeted in addition to to a greater extent than probable to hold upwards stopped, searched, in addition to arrested past times police,” said Zhang.

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