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Racial Impact Statements

And increasingly important tool in policy advocacy, state policy racial impact statements offer analysis on the likelihood that pending bills, if enacted, will create or exacerbate racial disparities.

Born in the early 2000s out of efforts to more effectively address equity in criminal justice, racial impact statements are becoming an effective tool across state policy for demonstrating how proposals that seem neutral and “fair” can yield disparate and decidedly unfair outcomes. Instead of focusing on a bill or two to increase racial equity, racial impact statements give us a way to ensure all bills increase equity.

Learn more about our racial equity initiative.

Iowa: The Promise of Racial Impact Statements — Findings from a Case Study of Minority Impact Statements in Iowa

National Juvenile Justice Network — This deep case study of Iowa’s implementation of minority impact statements presents the history, context, and lessons learned about the efficacy of these legislative tools. (October 2020)

Nebraska: Legislative Rules Committee Considers Racial Impact Statements for Bills

Lincoln Journal Star — Rules changes proposed in the Nebraska legislature would require a racial impact statement for any bill that significantly affects criminal or juvenile justice, but would allow a committee chairman or bill sponsor to request a statement regardless of the bill's subject matter. (October 2019)

Can Racial and Ethnic Impact Statements Address Inequity in Criminal Justice Policy?

Urban Institute — This blog post offer a quick overview of the origins of racial impact statements in criminal justice. (February 2018)


In 2020, Texas advocates at Children at Risk worked to get companion bills filed in the Texas Senate and House creating Childhood Racial Disparity Impact Statements for pending bills.