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Department Seeks Approval to Study Charlottesville Criminal Justice System

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Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail (FILE IMAGE) Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail (FILE IMAGE)
Kaki Dimock Kaki Dimock
Protest during a meeting of Charlottesville City Council (FILE IMAGE) Protest during a meeting of Charlottesville City Council (FILE IMAGE)
Charlottesville police vehicle (FILE IMAGE) Charlottesville police vehicle (FILE IMAGE)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The Charlottesville Department of Human Services (DHS) is hoping to receive the go-ahead from City Council to study racial disparities in the local criminal justice systems.

DHS is expected to present its request to councilors at Monday’s meeting.

The department started reviewing criminal justice data in 2017. It received a $90,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services to hire a consultant to complete the study.

Back in 2014 the Charlottesville Task Force on Disproportionate Minority Contact in the juvenile justice system found that black youth in the city were entering the system at a significantly higher rate than white youth. This raised questions about disparities in the adult criminal justice system.

DHS says the study could help the community develop a comprehensive plan to prevent this from happening.

"We want to make sure that our systems of care including our criminal justice system are as fair and appropriate as they possibly can be," said DHS Director Kaki Dimock.

The study would not require additional funding from City Council because DHS will use $10,000 from its budget to match the $90,000 grant.

The request will not be voted on until councilors’ second meeting in March.

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