U.S. Prison Racial Disparities Slightly Better Now
February 17, 2016 10:02 AM   Subscribe

The good news is that the U.S. incarceration rate is dropping. The less-good news is that black men are now only almost six times as likely to be incarcerated as white men, down from more than seven-and-a-half times as likely in 2000; black women are now just twice as likely as white women to be behind bars, where they used to be six times as likely.

The changes include both less imprisonment of black people and more imprisonment of white people. There are, of course, multiple theories: an increased emphasis on sex crimes, an increase in meth and heroin use, and even a softening of urban law enforcement vs. rural.
posted by Etrigan (4 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The changes include both less imprisonment of black people and more imprisonment of white people.

We really need to get the rate for men in general down. We can't live in a society where this many men can't seem to stay out of serious trouble like this. It's a failure of our duty to our citizens that we can't implement a better solution.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:44 AM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

One major issue here is that this data does not include people being held in pretrial detention. One in three American detainees is pre-trial.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:55 AM on February 17, 2016 [10 favorites]

By total coincidence I was reading an article* the other day arguing against the "New Jim Crow" model of explaining mass incarceration, from a perspective of commitment to both racial justice and ending mass incarceration. I think there's some major criticisms to make of the article (if nothing else it talks about violence as important to maintaining Jim Crow, but doesn't do much to address police violence in black communities (it was written before the recent attention to that issue, to be fair)), but I think it makes some decent points about addressing the problem of mass incarceration as an issue that affects poor black, white, and Hispanic communities in significant ways.

*In the interest of full disclosure the author was a professor of mine in law school.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:03 AM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

The hashtag #whitepeopleproblems has a new meaning now that white people are having problems. Drop the oxy/H, my white brothers and sisters. It ain't easy, but it is necessary. Meaning: stop it or die. I don't care how good it feels. (I know how good it feels.)
posted by kozad at 8:05 PM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

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