This working group is not currently meeting. 

The Working Group was formed in order to:

  1. Determine if, and to what extent, racially or ethnically-based decision-making and disparity exists in Multnomah County’s criminal justice system;
  2. Report back to the Council with an Action Plan that includes an assessment of this issue and recommendations for specific actions to reduce any disparate practices and inequitable conditions which may exist in the system.

In October of 2000, the Working Group published a report entitled Ensuring Equitable Treatment in the Criminal Justice System: Addressing Overrepresentation of Minorities. An Assessment and Action Plan Ensuring Equitable Treatment in the Criminal Justice System: An Assessment and Action Plan (2000) (2.75 MB).  Over-representation was defined as:

"A greater percentage of a particular racial or ethnic group within a community’s criminal justice population than that group’s percentage within the community’s general population."

The data analyzed in this report demonstrated that racial overrepresentation does exist, but that the dynamics are complex and not fully understood, and the causes are not clear. The initial working group was disbanded so that a more public process could begin. In November, 2000, a Racial Overrepresentation in the Criminal Justice System Task Force was appointed to develop a plan to reduce minority overrepresentation The Task Force includes opinion leaders from local minority communities, and justice agency leaders in Multnomah County.