Racial Disparities in Military Justice

Findings of Substantial and Persistent Racial Disparities Within the United States Military Justice System

June 7, 2017

Protect Our Defenders (POD) submitted a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to each military service branch seeking demographic information on military justice and disciplinary proceedings. POD received responses from four of the service branches, and analyzed this previously unpublished data to assess the prevalence of racial and ethnic disparities within the military’s disciplinary and criminal justice systems.

POD’s analysis of the data shows that, for every year reported and across all service branches, black service members were substantially more likely than white service members to face military justice or disciplinary action. These disparities have not improved, and in some cases have increased, in recent years.

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You can also read Part II of this report, Federal Lawsuit Reveals Air Force Cover Up, published in May 2020.