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February 27, 2013 (Huffington Post)

Female Prison Population Changes Drastically As Percentage Of Blacks Drops Sharply

The percentage of African American women versus white women behind bars dropped nearly in half between 2000 and 2009, according to a report by The Sentencing Project.

"The good news in this report is that [though these are] problems that many people viewed as seemingly intractable, it appears that we can make progress as a society on those issues," said Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project.

Mauer attributes the shift to changes on both sides of the equation. The study found reduced incarceration and arrests among African American women who committed drug offenses and violent crimes. At the same time, the project found rising imprisonment of white women for similar misconduct.

"The rates are far too high for any society, but nonetheless the numbers are going in the right direction," Mauer added.


Issue Area(s): Sentencing Policy, Incarceration, Racial Disparity, Women