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San Francisco's Disproportionate Arrest Rates of African American Women Persist

A new CJCJ fact sheet analyzing data shows the disproportionately high arrest rates of African American women in San Francisco. According to the data, black women compose less than six percent of San Francisco’s female population, but constitute nearly half of all female arrests and experience arrest rates 13 times higher than women of other races.

San Francisco female arrest rates per 100,000 population, African American women v. women of all other races (2013)

The fact sheet expounds upon a 2012 CJCJ research brief by Mike Males and William Armaline, which charts the increasing racially disparate arrest rates of African Americans in San Francisco over the past 40 years that continue today. While in 1980 African American women were 4.1 times more likely to be arrested than women of other races, as of 2013, black women in San Francisco were 13.4 times more likely to be arrested than non-black women. This despite an overall decrease in the population of African Americans in San Francisco.

A 2002 report by the ACLU of Northern California showed that in San Francisco, an African American person is 3.3 times more likely to be searched after the traffic stop – a problem that persists today, with African American women in San Francisco arrested at a rate 17 times higher for traffic violations and representing 51 percent of female arrestees for traffic violations. This could justify concerns about discriminatory “driving while black” arrest patterns in San Francisco.

While the problem of racial profiling has been known by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, Board of Supervisors, Police Commission and other agencies, the issue remains a troubling one.

Read the full fact sheet: San Francisco's Disproportionate Arrest of African American Women Persists >>

For more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with a CJCJ representative, please contact CJCJ Communications at 415-621-5661 x 124 or

Keywords: factsheet, Mike Males, police practices, racial disparities, San Francisco

Posted in Blog, Publications

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