Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blacks Far More likely to be Incarcerated than Whites

This data was gathered from the prison initiative and shows that there is more racism in the US prison system than there was in South Africa During Apartheid:


Incarceration is not an equal opportunity punishment

by Peter Wagner
Updated June 28, 2005

On June 30, 2004, there were 2,131,180 people in U.S. prisons and jails. That's a rise of 2.3% during the 12 previous months. Federal prisons are growing almost 5 times faster than state prison populations.

As of June 30, 2004, the U.S. incarceration rate was 726 per 100,000 residents. But when you break down the statistics you see that incarceration is not an equal opportunity punishment.

U.S. incarceration rates by race, June 30, 2004

incarceration rates by race graph

Gender is an important "filter" on the who goes to prison or jail:

incarceration rates by gender graph

Look at just the males by race, and the incarceration rates become even more frightening

incarceraton rates for males by race

If you look at males aged 25-29 and by race, you can see what is going on even clearer

incarceration rates for young males

Or you can make some international comparisons

International rates of incarceration graph

South Africa under Apartheid was internationally condemned as a racist society. What does it mean that the leader of the "free world" locks up its Black men at a rate 5.8 times higher than the most openly racist country in the world?

Statistics as of June 30, 2004 from Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2004, Tables 14; except for the race rate statistics which are calculated from Table 13 and Census Bureau population estimates. South Africa figures from Marc Mauer, Americans Behind Bars: The International Use of Incarceration. All references to Blacks and Whites are for what the Bureau of Justice Statistics and U.S. Census refer to as "non-Hispanic Blacks" and "non-Hispanic Whites".)

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