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January 11, 2013 (Florida Courier)

A Black Agenda

The editorial staff of the Florida Courier has a list of priorities for President Barack Obama during his second term. Along with jobs, education, housing and entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, the editorial staff singled out the disproportionate incarceration of people of color.

“According to the Sentencing Project, there are approximately 2.3 million people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails; more than 60 percent are non-White. Many of the millions who are locked up struggle with mental health issues and drug addiction, low levels of educational attainment, and have histories of unemployment or underemployment.

“For Black males in their thirties, 1 in every 10 is in prison or jail on any given day. A Black male born in 2001 has a 32 percent chance of spending time in prison at some point in his life; a Hispanic male has a 17 percent chance; a White male has a 6 percent chance.

“Solutions include changing draconian “three strikes” and minimum mandatory laws, investing in mental health and drug rehab treatment, reinstating parole and community release, and supporting probation and non-imprisonment alternatives.”

Issue Area(s): Sentencing Policy, Incarceration, Racial Disparity, Felony Disenfranchisement, Collateral Consequences