Racial Disparities in Minnesota: The Point of Arrest

Sarah Welter, Council on Crime & Justice
Barbara A. Schillo, Council on Crime & Justice
Leena Kurki, Council on Crime and Justice
Pam Cosby, Council on Crime & Justice
Jose Mangles, Council on Crime & Justice

ABSTRACT
This study by the Racial Disparity Initiative of the Council on Crime and Justice examines what factors contribute to the higher arrest rates for people of color compared to whites in Minnesota, and especially in the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The study includes several research components. First, a secondary analysis of arrest data for Minnesota's 87 counties examines racial disparities in arrests by location. Second, a victimization survey in Minneapolis and St. Paul produces estimates of the frequency of crimes committed against persons by race of the offender. Third, a drug use survey in Minneapolis and St. Paul produces estimates of the frequency of drug-related offenses by race of the respondent. Fourth, an analysis of police incident reports examines differences across racial groups in offenses cleared by arrest and arrests initiated by police. The main goal is to compare actual involvement in personal crimes and drug offenses by race to arrests for these crimes by race. In addition, the study analyzes racial differences in the factors that affect reporting to police or clearance by an arrest, e.g., victim-offender relationship, location of the crime, and drug use habits.

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Updated 05/20/2006