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Racial fairness gaining ground in the justice system

By Marc Mauer
July 30, 2008

Nearly a million African-Americans are incarcerated in prisons and jails, and a black male born today has a one-in-three chance of going to prison in his lifetime, if current trends continue. People of good will disagree about the causes of these dramatic figures. Competing explanations include high rates of involvement in crime, differential rates of prosecution through the "war on drugs," racial profiling and inadequate family support. In fact, there is a good deal of documentation to support each of these contentions as at least a part of the explanation for the disparity.While the numbers are distressing, the good news is that there are growing efforts among policymakers at the federal and state level to provide constructive approaches to sort out the causes and address them.
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Interesting opinion piece by Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project. Tom

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