The Importance of Racial Impact Statements

By Jorge Rivas Feb 02, 2009

A racial impact statement is an examination of the likely impacts of a policy proposal in order to minimize disparities and foster racial equity and inclusion. Ashley Nellis is one of the writers of the Criminal Justice paper in the Compact for Racial Justice. She’s a research analyst at The Sentencing Project in Washington DC, a group that is working for a fair and effective criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing law and practice, and alternatives to incarceration. Ashley Nellis believes racial impact statements "would have tremendous value" fighting for racial justice. She goes on to point out that "this sort of philosophy already exist, fiscal impact statements are very much the norm, environmental impact statements are very much utilized." Watch Ashley Nellis tells us how racial impact statements could be a useful means of reforming the criminal justice system.