This Tuesday, advocates for criminal, racial and family justice will hold a news teleconference about a new report, “New Mexico Drug Laws, Race and Ethnicity: A Report on Drug Law Enforcement in Bernalillo County,” examining the availability and accessibility of race and ethnicity data from arrests and bookings in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. The report makes a case for reporting the proportion of Indigenous, Black, Hispanic and Latino people involved in the criminal justice system to gain an accurate understanding of racial and ethnic disparities.
Data from the Bernalillo County Detention Center show that Indigenous, Black and Hispanic and Latin@ people are overrepresented in drug violation bookings relative to their respective shares in the Bernalillo County population. In contrast, white people are booked for drug law violations at significantly lower rates than their share of the county population. Further, even the disparities seen in the data do not show the whole story. Without comprehensive data collection, the true extent of bias in drug law enforcement against Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and Latin@ people is hidden, and the rates of white people jailed is artificially inflated.
The report also found that New Mexico does not collect racial or ethnicity data along with other demographic data. Since the data is not collected, New Mexico is not able to comply with federal data reporting guidelines related to race and ethnicity. The ongoing failure to collect and report racial and ethnicity data affects the entire criminal justice system.
What: Teleconference to discuss the extent of racial bias in enforcement of drug laws and racial disparities in the criminal justice system in Bernalillo County.
- Denicia Cadena, Policy and Cultural Strategy Director, Young Women United
- Jessica Gelay, New Mexico Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance
- Steve Allen, Director of Public Policy, American Civil Liberties Union of NM
- James Jiménez, Executive Director, New Mexico Voices for Children
Moderated by Micaela Cadena of Young Women United.
When: Tuesday, May 23 at 11am (MT) / 1pm (ET)
How: Call: 1-800-311-9402; Passcode: New Mexico