Racial Impact Statements Are Essential When Changing Criminal Justice Policy to Advance Racial Justice

Testimony from NJPP Policy Analyst Marleina Ubel, urging the Office of Legislative Services to produce a racial impact statement for S513.

Published on Jun 13, 2022 in Public Safety

Good morning, Chairwoman Greenstein and members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.

I’m Marleina Ubel from New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP), a nonpartisan think tank focused on advancing economic, social, and racial justice for New Jersey residents.

While the bill is less than ideal and unlikely to actually reduce gun violence, NJPP supports the amendments that have been made to narrow the scope of S513. However, we cannot fully support this legislation without a racial impact statement. Legislation like S513 will likely change the number of people being held in our jails and it is critical that a racial impact statement accompany this bill given that New Jersey has a history of arresting and incarcerating people of color at disproportionate rates. Moreover, it is required by statute that the Office of Legislative Services produce and make publicly available racial impact statements when there is a change in criminal justice policy.

Thank you.

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