Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Frase, Orfield, and Ruhland Quoted in Star Tribune on Racial Disparities in Twin Cities' Criminal Justice System

A recent article in the Star Tribune examined racial disparities in the Twin Cities’ criminal justice system. Robina Institute Co-Director Professor Richard Frase (U of M Law School), Professor Myron Orfield (U of M Law School), and Robina Institute Research Director, Dr. Ebony Ruhland (U of M Law School), were quoted in the piece, which was written in response to new crime data that reveals a disparity in arrests of African Americans when compared to the Twin Cities’ population makeup. “There are not studies out there today that readily document overt racial bias,” said Prof. Frase. “But there is study after study after study out there demonstrating implicit racial bias when it comes to decision making at every stage of Minnesota’s criminal justice system.” Prof. Orfield said that when the statewide study on racial profiling—conducted by the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity—was released 13 years ago, the area surrounding St. Anthony “was one of the worst we found” for racial profiling, meaning that nonwhites were more likely to be stopped or arrested without sufficient cause. He added that relying on arrest data is not the best way to prove racial profiling, though, noting that “there’s a lot of quick and dirty analysis being done.” Ruhland, who previously worked at the nonprofit Council on Crime and Justice, said she welcomes more data. “We can’t deny that profiling does happen. … We need to change police practices.”

Read the full article, here.

Profs. Frase and Orfield recently spoke at a Robina In Conversation on “Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System,” along with U of M Law Professor Perry Moriearty, and Kedar Hickman, Program Manager at Ujamaa Place.

Learn more and watch the video of “Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System,” here