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.
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