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Utility of an Internal Benchmarking Strategy in Racial Profiling Surveillance

NCJ Number
Justice Research and Policy Volume: 10 Issue: 2 Dated: 2008 Pages: 19-47
Brian L. Withrow; Jeffery D. Dailey; Henry Jackson
Date Published
29 pages
This study examined the incidents of racial profiling by the Wichita (Kansas) Police Department.
Estimating the racial and ethnic proportions within the driving population at risk of being stopped by the police is the most serious methodological threat to the viability of racial profiling research. Most strategies are externally based on the residential population, field observations of drivers, and, more recently, accident records. Using data collected in 2001 by the Wichita (Kansas) Police Department, the authors construct an internal benchmark and are able to identify the officers (at the individual level) that are actually stopping substantially higher proportions of racial minorities when compared to their similarly situated peers. Recommendations for developing an internal benchmarking strategy are included. (Published Abstract)