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Study: Minorities More Likely To Be Detained Awaiting Trial In Mass.

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A study has found that a disproportionate number of racial minorities are held in jail while they await trial, and those who are granted bail face amounts up to four times higher than white defendants in some Massachusetts counties.The report released Tuesday by MassINC, an independent think tank, looked at pretrial detention in 10 counties and found the most striking disparities in Barnstable, Franklin, Berkshire, and Norfolk counties.

The study found that in Berkshire County, black residents make up 3 percent of the population, but represent almost 16 percent of pretrial detainees. In Franklin County, the number of black defendants awaiting trial in jail is nearly 14 percent, while 1.5 percent of residents are black.

Prosecutors in some counties tell The Boston Globe the study does not tell the whole story.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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