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IG report finds racial imbalance in how incarcerated people in NY are disciplined

Dec 02, 2022 1:00 am

Raga Justin is reporting for the Times Union the state inspector general December 1, said incarcerated black and Hispanic people are significantly more likely to experience disparities in disciplinary treatment, and directing the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to require annual anti-bias training along with other recommendations. The IG's office analyzed data on violations leading to disciplinary write-ups that can result in punishment for people who are accused of infractions of institutional rules. The report covers a six-year period from 2015 to 2020 and was prompted by a 2016 New York Times story that documented a systemwide imbalance in how individuals in prisons are disciplined by DOCCS staff. "Sadly ... although racial disparities may not start at the prison gates, unfortunately, they also do not end there," state Inspector General Lucy Lang said in a statement. "We are hopeful that shining a light on this continuing inequality will contribute to changes in policy and practice that prioritize equal justice and dignity for incarcerated New Yorkers." Lang said her office has continued monitoring data for racial disparities since 2015, finding that such discrepancies are widespread and persisted until at least 2020. According to the report, an incarcerated black man was nearly 22 percent more likely to be issued a disciplinary report than an incarcerated white man, while a Hispanic individual was 12 percent more likely. Of the DOCCS employees who issued 50 or more disciplinary reports, 226 of them issued those reports to only non-white people. Disciplinary infractions are rated as minor, moderate, and severe, and each comes with a set of penalties, including loss of privileges or confinement. Read the full story in the Times Union.