NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A study of prosecutions handled by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office has concluded that black and Hispanic defendants are more likely to be held in jail before trial than white and Asian defendants.

The study also found that black and Hispanic defendants were more likely to be offered plea bargains that include prison sentences.

READ MORE: Photos Of Lunches Served At Paterson Schools Show Mystery Meats, Puny Portions

The two-year study was conducted by the Vera Institute of Justice. Institute president Nicholas Turner said the study is a step toward bringing equality to criminal justice practices.

“It’s an important first step in promoting equality, because it sets out the factual predicate; it sets out where inequality exists, and that’s the first important step in trying to correct that and provide more equity,” Turner told 1010 WINS.

READ MORE: Mother Makes Daring Rescue After 14-Month-Old Boy Falls Into Open Manhole Inside Union, N.J. Park

The study grew out of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s campaign promise to determine whether race played a role in prosecutors’ decisions. Vance’s office gave the institute unfettered access to its books for 2010 and 2011

He told The New York Times he would move forward with “implicit bias” training for his assistants to guard against unconscious prejudices in their decision-making.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
[display-posts category=”news” posts_per_page=”4″]

MORE NEWS: Prosecution Continues Closing Arguments In R. Kelly Sex Trafficking Trial

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)