Florida legislators to consider racial impact of proposals

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida legislators are partnering with university researchers to vet how criminal justice legislation could affect communities of color in a state that has among the nation's highest rates of incarceration.

Under the plan, the Florida Senate will spend $200,000 for its contract with the Florida State University's College of Criminology and Criminal Justice to perform the analysis.

African Americans account for nearly half of the 96,000 locked up in Florida prisons, with many thousands more being held in local jails. That statistic has long concerned social justice advocates who want the Legislature to more deeply consider how crime bills could impact disproportionately impact blacks, Latinos and other people of color.

Legislative proposals are routinely analyzed for financial impact but are seldom vetted for how they could affect communities of color.

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