The ACLU of Oregon strives to end the disproportionate impact of police abuses, over-incarceration, and the selective enforcement of drug laws on communities of color.
Good police practices, thorough training, carefully crafted policies, and appropriate allocation of resources in law enforcement, can ensure public safety and prevent abuses in encounters between police officers and citizens. Unfortunately, across the nation patterns of racial profiling, the selective enforcement of laws against people of color, and disturbing stop-and-frisk policies have resulted in a disproportionate effect on certain communities, with people of color coming in contact with law enforcement and the criminal justice system at far greater rates than white people.
More Americans are deprived of their liberty than ever before—unfairly and unnecessarily, with no benefit to public safety. It’s a problem that affects people of color most of all. As more people find themselves locked up, more people face the culture of violence and inhumanity that persists in many of America’s prisons. Excessively harsh criminal justice policies result in mass incarceration and stand in the way of a just and equal society.
The “school-to-prison pipeline” refers to the policies and practices that push our schoolchildren, especially those most at-risk, out of classrooms and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Despite significant strides in Texas, our schools continue to rely heavily on ticketing as a form of discipline and disproportionately punish children of color and special needs kids.