>Racial gap in drug arrest continues

>Two new reports, issued Monday by the Sentencing Project in Washington and by Human Rights Watch in New York, both say the racial disparities reflect, in large part, an overwhelming focus of law enforcement on drug use in low-income urban areas, with arrests and incarceration the main weapon.

Read more here.

Most of us “socially aware” folks already knew this “phenomenon” existed. We are all painfully aware that the white guy who gets caught with cocaine will more likely receive less time than the brother who’s caught with crack cocaine. We are painfully aware that, although blacks are only around 13 percent of the population, we make up at least 1/3 of the prison population (probably even higher now).

Maybe it’s “good policy” for the police to focus on urban areas, according to some:

Some crime experts say that the disparities exist for sound reasons. Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York, said it made sense for police to focus more on fighting visible drug dealing in low-income urban areas, largely involving members of minorities, than on hidden use in suburban homes, more often by whites, because the urban street trade is more associated with violence and other crimes and impairs the quality of life.

Thoughts?