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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 9, 2020 01:48 PM
From: Representative Thomas P. Murt
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution Requesting Action by LBFC - Irregularities in the incarceration of blacks and Hispanics in Pennsylvania
“I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens.” - Donald Trump

In the U.S., though African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans make up approximately 32% of the population, in 2015, they comprised 56% of all incarcerated people in our nation. In addition, while African-Americans and White-American use drugs at similar rates, the imprisonment rates of African-Americans for drug charges is almost six times that of White-Americans. This apparent disproportionate incarceration of people of color, begs our discernment as it relates to the people of our Commonwealth and justice.

We badly need a statistical analysis to discern this issue and related ones, and to decide what legislative actions might be needed to address these dynamics.

I will soon introduce a resolution that will direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to conduct research to ascertain these statistics for our Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The resolution will direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee produce a statistical and anecdotal analysis that examines these issues and make recommendations about why, and suggestions about what can be done to address any irregularities in the incarceration of blacks and Hispanics in Pennsylvania.

Introduced as HR787