Comparing Black and White drug offenders
Despite knowledge of racial bias for drug-related criminal justice involvement and its collateral consequences, we know less about differences between Black and White drug offenders. We compare 243 Black and White non-violent drug offenders in New Haven, Connecticut, for demographic characteristics, substance use, and reentry services accessed. Blacks were significantly more likely to have sales and possession charges; significantly more likely to prefer marijuana, a less addictive drug; and significantly less likely to report having severe drug problems. For both races, drug treatment was the most common service accessed through supervision. These comparisons suggest different reasons for committing drug-related crimes and, thus, different reentry programming needs. Although drug treatment is critical for all who need it, for racial justice, we must also intervene to address other needs of offenders, such as poverty alleviation and employment opportunities.