Skip to main content
News

Black Americans Incarcerated Five Times More Than White People

June 18, 2016
Black Americans were incarcerated in state prisons at an average rate of 5.1 times that of white Americans in 2014. In some states that rate was 10 times or more, reports The Guardian.

Black Americans were incarcerated in state prisons at an average rate of 5.1 times that of white Americans in 2014. In some states that rate was 10 times or more, reports The Guardian, citing The Sentencing Project’s new report, The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons, by senior research analyst Ashley Nellis.

Nellis found that in five states, the disparity rate was more than double the average. New Jersey had the highest, with a ratio of 12.2 black people to one white person in its prison system, followed by Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Vermont.

The report covers racial disparities for black and Hispanic Americans in the criminal justice system. The average ratio for Hispanics to white people in prisons in all states was 1.4 to 1.

Nellis said these numbers were more difficult to crunch because of variations in reporting race and ethnicity and the fact that four states report no data on them. Because of this, she said, prison population data on Hispanics or Latinos was likely to be an underestimate.

“It seems very unlikely that in a state like Florida that has a large percentage of Hispanics that only 4% of the prison population would be Hispanic,” Nellis said.

Read the full article in The Guardian.

 
Related Posts
publications
September 17, 2019

U.S. Prison Population Trends: Massive Buildup and Modest Decline

While most states have downsized their prison populations in recent years, the pace of decarceration is insufficient to undo nearly four decades of unrelenting growth.
news
Fact: DC has a mass incarceration problem
September 11, 2019

Fact: DC has a mass incarceration problem

Recent public debates in the District of Columbia surrounding legislation to expand opportunities for sentence reductions to people convicted of offenses before age 25 have raised questions about the level of incarceration in the District.