Tarleton’s IPAC Issues Annual Racial Profiling Data Analysis Report

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — The Institute for Predictive Analytics in Criminal Justice at Tarleton State University has published its annual report on racial profiling data in Texas.

The Sandra Bland Act (effective September 2019) greatly improved the ability to conduct meaningful data analysis of Texas law enforcement agencies. With another year of robust data, researchers can begin to see if trends emerge year over year.

Researchers have added sections on relative risk and typologies. The relative risk section generates easy-to-understand context for each of the variables analyzed. The typologies sections translates statewide data into information similar to that reported by Texas law enforcement agencies. This makes comparing agency data against typical data much easier.

“This report on racial profiling data, performed by IPAC’s team of leading researchers and experts from across The Texas A&M University System, provides context to the state of racial profiling in Texas and produces findings and recommendations for legislators and the law enforcement community to continue the dialogue on improvements,” said Dr. Alex del Carmen, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the founder and director of IPAC.

Among the significant findings in this year’s research:

  • Hispanic Contraband Hit Rates. Similar to last year, research showed Hispanics were more likely to be searched but less likely to be found in possession of contraband. Hispanics were 1.26 times more likely than Whites to be searched; however, the hit rate was 38.6% and 45.4%, respectively.
  • Relative Risk of Citations for Minorities. Both Blacks and Hispanics were slightly more likely than Whites to receive a citation.
  • Relative Risk of Consent Search of Minorities. Blacks were 1.2 times more likely than Whites to be subjected to consent search. Hispanics were 1.6 times more likely. Due to the discretionary nature of consent search, researchers believe these findings merit further attention.

Researchers recommend that law enforcement agencies be required to disclose more granular data regarding consent searches.

First, IPAC suggests agencies report all consent search denials. This would capture the demographic data on those who lawfully decline a consent search, providing another area that could be evaluated for racial profiling. Secondly, researchers recommend that contraband discoveries be disaggregated by search type to fully evaluate the effectiveness of consent searches.

The full report is available at https://www.tarleton.edu/ipac/.

A founding member of The Texas A&M System, Tarleton State is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 16,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.