When new penalties go on the books, what will the impact be on minority communities? Two Milwaukee lawmakers have made a proposal for minority impact statements to be included on new criminal laws in the state. State Senator Nikiya Harris, a Milwaukee Democrat. She said the statement would show the impact of new or modified criminal penalties.
AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (1:10)
The bill requires that a racial impact statement include an estimate of the number of criminal cases per year that the bill will affect, along with the impact on members of racial minority groups and the state’s prisons.
Harris is proposing the measure along with another Milwaukee Democrat, Representative Sandy Pasch. The statements would be prepared by the legislature’s Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties. Harris said Iowa, Connecticut and Oregon have similar requirements in place for minority impact statements. Wisconsin has one of the nation’s highest black-to-white ratio of incarceration in the nation.