LEWISTON — On Thursday, the Maine Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will convene a public briefing to gather information from government officials and others regarding sentencing disparities in Maine.

The briefing will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber of City Hall.

According to a press release from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, data indicates that there are significant racial disparities in sentencing in Maine, including evidence that people of color tend, on average, to receive harsher sentences than whites.

In recent years, these sentencing disparities have become widely recognized as an important civil rights issue, not only in Maine but across the United States, according to the commission.

At the briefing, the Maine Advisory Committee will hear testimony concerning the role of prosecutorial discretion in racial disparities in sentencing and ways to address racial sentencing disparities.

The briefing is open to the public.

For more information, contact Barbara de La Viez, Eastern Regional Office, 202-376-7533, or Rachel Talbot Ross, chairperson, Maine Advisory Committee, 207-653-3953.

For information about the reports and meetings of the commission and its state advisory committees, please visit www.usccr.gov.

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