Reversing a longtime trend, the incarceration rate for African Americans declined significantly over the last ten years, particularly among women. As the New York Times highlights, the drop is a noteworthy shift in the stark racial disparities that “have long characterized” both the prison and incarceration systems. Overall, however, U.S. incarceration rates remain the highest rate in the world, and the proportion of African Americans who are locked up — particularly men from certain demographics – remains shockingly high. In a new study by The Sentencing Project, Mark Mauer provides the take-aways:
- Racial/ethnic disparities in U.S. incarceration remain substantial – In 2009, African Americans and Latinos constituted more than 60% of imprisoned offenders. African American males were incarcerated in state and federal prisons at 6.4 times the rate of non-Hispanic white males, and Hispanic males at 2.4 times the rate of non-Hispanic whites.
- Read on...