Racial Differences in Arrests

GGD-94-29R: Published: Jan 20, 1994. Publicly Released: Jan 20, 1994.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed racial disparities in arrest rates for rape, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault. GAO found that: (1) blacks were more likely to be arrested and identified as assailants by crime victims when compared to the proportion of blacks in the general population; (2) racial disparities in arrests diminish when black and white arrest rates are compared with offender rates; (3) although racial disparities in offender rates may be a result of victims' prejudice or misidentification of an assailant's race, methodology is not available to identify these potential errors; (4) the racial disparities in arrests varied due to the racial disparities in offenses; (5) after controlling for racial differences in offending, blacks remained more likely to be arrested for simple assault than whites; and (6) measures of racial differences in arrests should be made on a crime-specific basis using measures of racial differences in involvement in criminal activity.

Sep 26, 2018

Sep 5, 2018

Jul 18, 2018

Jul 16, 2018

Jun 27, 2018

May 31, 2018

May 17, 2018

Apr 18, 2018

Apr 12, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here