With the lowest score of all six themes in 2022, the Justice theme score of 33.78 has decreased 4.33 points from the baseline score of 38.11 in 2018. This theme explores disparities in arrests, law enforcement workforce, officer use of force, and violence. Using data to better understand issues in policing, safety, and violence enables city and law enforcement leaders to work with the public. Together, they can objectively examine trends and patterns to help identify root causes and develop strategies to reduce disparities.

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Multiple researchers have found African Americans across the United States frequently experience disproportionate levels of policing, stops, searches, issuing of citations, uses of force, convictions, sentencing severity, uses of alternatives to incarceration, arrests for failure to pay fines and fees, and youth sentenced as adults. These do not align with higher levels or severity of crime committed. Many sources further suggest systemic racism and implicit bias throughout the entire criminal justice system significantly contribute to these disproportionate levels.

Note on calculating scores for indicators related to arrests and police use of force:

As in previous Equality Indicators reports, Black and White populations were selected as comparison groups for indicators 28 and 29 based on community feedback and to reflect contemporary discourse around the disparity in arrest rates by race. The method used for Indicator 33, “Officer use of force by subject race,” calculates the police use of force rate by race with regard to the total population of each racial group in Tulsa. However, the Tulsa Police Department recommends using an alternative method, framing the use of force rate with respect to the number of arrests per race.

Sources: Pierson, Emma, Camelia Simoiu, Jan Overgoor, Sam Corbett-Davies, Daniel Jenson, Amy Shoemaker, Vignesh Ramachandran, Phoebe Barghouty, Cheryl Phillips, Raci Shroff, and Sharad Goel. 2020. “A Large-scale Analysis of Racial Disparities in Police Stops across the United States.” Nature Human Behaviour, May 4, 2020, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-020-0858-1; Human Rights Watch. 2019. “Get on the Ground!”: Policing, Poverty, and Racial Inequality in Tulsa, Oklahoma.” https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/09/12/get-ground-policing-poverty-and-racial-inequality-tulsa-oklahoma/case-study-us; Vielehr, Peter S. 2019. “Racial Bias in Police Officers Discretionary Search Decisions and Associated Community Mental Health Consequences: Evidence from Nashville, Tennessee.” PhD diss., Vanderbilt University; Hinton, Elizabeth, LeShae Henderson, and Cindy Reed. 2018. “An Unjust Burden: The Disparate Treatment of Black Americans in the Criminal Justice System.” Vera Institute of Justice Evidence Brief, May 2018; Balko, Radley. 2018. “There’s Overwhelming Evidence that the Criminal-Justice System is Racist. Here’s the Proof.” Washington Post, Sept. 18, 2018; The Sentencing Project. 2018. Report of the Sentencing Project to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance: Regarding Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System; The Sentencing Project. 2015. Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequity in the Criminal Justice System; The Sentencing Project. 2014. Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System; Eberhardt, Jennifer L. 2019. Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do. New York: Viking

THE BELOW INTERACTIVE GRAPHS display five years of Tulsa Equality Indicator scores, divided into the three Topics for this Theme, and three Indicators for each Topic. The lines represent each Indicators’ scores for five years, allowing the viewer to observe how each score has changed over time and to compare the scores of different Indicators within a Theme.  More on how we measure equality >

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