Racial And Ethnic Impact Statements

Racial impact statements are a tool for lawmakers to evaluate potential disparities of proposed legislation prior to adoption and implementation. Analogous to fiscal impact statements, they assist legislators in detecting unforeseen policy ramifications.
— Nicole D. Porter, The Sentencing Project

What are racial AND Ethnic Impact Statements?

A Racial and Ethnic Impact Statement (REIS) requires policymakers proposing new legislation or changes to existing legislation to assess the policy’s potentially disparate impact on various racial groups. Such statements are similar to fiscal or environmental impact statements, which are routinely required before new programs or developments can be implemented and are now widely considered responsible mechanisms of government.

An REIS can be applied to any proposed policy change (e.g., a bill, joint resolution, or amendment) that would create a criminal offense, significantly change an existing public offense or the penalty for an existing offense, or change sentencing, parole, or probation procedures. It is often linked to a proposal that could have an impact on the population of people incarcerated in a given jurisdiction. REIS statements can also shed light on proposed civil and administrative policies that intersect with the criminal justice system and carry punitive sanctions – such as termination of parental rights, suspension or revocation of driver's licenses, or garnishment of wages." . 

Read About implemented REIS Statutes and proposed legislation


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