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Report: Black Nebraskans more likely to be arrested, jailed

November 23, 2020 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new report from researchers at the University of Nebraska at Omaha shows that Black Nebraskans are far more likely to be arrested and placed behind bars.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Black people also are significantly underrepresented among those receiving diversion or intervention services rather than jail time.

Researcher Leah Butler, an assistant professor in UNO’s School of Criminal Justice and Criminology, said implicit bias and sentencing guidelines could contribute to the disparities, but more study is needed.

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The report found that the average number of arrests of Black people in Nebraska from 2014 to 2019 amounted to 19% of all arrests, while Blacks make up 5% of the state’s population.

The study found that white inmates made up 52% of the population at state and federal correctional facilities in 2018, 36 percentage points below their statewide population. Black inmates were overrepresented by five times their population.