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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

LCCR President Wade Henderson Discusses Criminal Justice Reform

March 3, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Larry Gold, Douglas Ganzler and Wade Henderson speaking on a panel

From left to right: Larry Gold, JCPA board member; Douglas F. Ganzler, Maryland attorney general; and Wade Henderson, LCCR president and CEO

Yesterday, Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the LCCR, spoke at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs national conference about the need to reform the criminal justice system in three areas that disproportionately affect low-income and minority people: mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws, racial profiling, and the incarceration of juveniles.

"For Americans to retain confidence in our criminal justice system, individuals must be treated fairly and equitably at every stage of the process, from the initial investigation of a crime by the police officer walking a beat to prosecution and punishment. Today, our criminal justice system strays far from that ideal as unequal treatment of minorities characterizes every stage of the process. There is much that needs to be done to make our criminal justice system one that works and works fairly for all," said Henderson.

Currently, African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of White males and Hispanics are incarcerated at nearly double the rate of White males. Approximately one in 17 African-American males and one in 45 Latino males (compared to one in 90 whites) will be incarcerated before the age of 18.

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