CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A disproportionate number of African-American males come into contact with the criminal justice system in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. That’s according to a first of its kind study.
Researchers with the MGT Consulting Group presented their findings to Charlottesville City Council on Monday. They are taking a close look at the way people in similar situations with the courts can end up with different outcomes. That difference is called racial disparity.
MGT determined that there are five points of racial disparity in the adult criminal justice system in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Those include the seriousness of charges brought, the number of companion charges, bail-bond release decisions, the length of stay awaiting trial, and guilty outcomes.
Reginald Smith, vice president of disparity research with MGT, says the closer inspection of those particular issues sets this study apart from others. “I think that you know looking at what we’re doing in this study we went even further, to not only look at disproportionality but also disparity with their disparate treatment. Because of your race and gender-based on the criminal justice system and at some point in the continuum.”
MGT is recommending nine improvements to the Charlottesville-Albemarle area, one of which is adopting programs that are alternatives to incarceration.