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Dane County legal system aims for racial equality

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Dane County officials are considering a number of ways to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

A Wisconsin State Journal report says the goal is to rehabilitate black suspects rather than incarceration them.

One program involves so-called “community courts.” Those are programs where young suspects are able to make amends for minor offenses without getting saddled with criminal records that could hurt them in the future.

The county’s drug court is also looking to include more minorities. The program allows drug offenders to be monitored through rehab programs instead of being locked up, and right now most offenders in it are white.

Prosecutor Ismael Ozanne said the goal is to enforce discipline in a way that still leaves minorities a fair chance to turn their lives around.

Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj

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