California sees historic drop in arrests, but blacks still more likely to wind up in handcuffs

FILE ART- Alameda County Jail.

A new report says California is seeing a historic drop in arrests that still leaves blacks far more likely to wind up in handcuffs.

The report released late Monday by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California says California's arrest rate dropped nearly 60 percent since its peak in 1989.

Three-fourths of the long-term drop is in misdemeanors, particularly for traffic and alcohol-related violations. Felony arrests for property and drug offenses fell substantially after voters lowered criminal penalties in 2014.

Yet blacks remain three times more likely to be arrested than whites statewide.

There is a substantial variation across counties. Blacks were arrested at least four times more frequently than whites in 21 of the 49 counties researchers examined, and at least five times more frequently in 13 counties.