Race and Prison
Link for Data Table:
Offenders Under Control of US Correctional Systems, By Race/Ethnicity
(Sentenced State and Federal Prisoners in the US as of 12/31/2014, by Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)
Sentenced state and federal prisoners, by age, sex, race, and Latino/Hispanic ethnicity, December 31, 2014 Total Malea White Non-Latinoc Black Non-Latinoc Latino/Hispanic Otherb,c 1,402,404 453,500 516,900 308,700 123,300 Total Femalea White Non-Latinoc Black Non-Latinoc Latino/Hispanic Otherb,c 106,232 53,100 22,600 17,800 12,800 Total All Gendersa,d White Non-Latinoc Black Non-Latinoc Latino/Hispanic Otherb,c 1,508,636 559,732 539,500 326,500 136,100
Note: Counts based on prisoners with a sentence of more than 1 year under the jurisdiction of state or federal correctional officials. Missing data were imputed for Illinois and Nevada.
a/Detail may not sum to total due to rounding, inmates age 17 or younger, and missing race/Hispanic origin data.
b/Includes American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, and persons identifying two or more races.
c/Excludes persons of Hispanic or Latino origin.
d/Includes persons age 17 or younger.
Sources: Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Prisoner Statistics Program, 2014; Federal Justice Statistics Program, 2014; National Corrections Reporting Program, 2013; Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2004; and U.S. Census Bureau, resident population estimates for January 1, 2015.
Source:E. Ann Carson, Estimated sentenced state and federal prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents, by sex, race, Hispanic origin, and age, December 31, 2014 (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 31, 2015). Data table generated using the Corrections Statistical Analysis Tool at www.bjs.gov on November 4, 2015.
(Imprisonment Rates In The US By Race, Age, And Gender, 2014) "Imprisonment rates by race and Hispanic origin were highest for males ages 30 to 34 (6,412 per 100,000 black males, 2,457 per 100,000 Hispanic males, and 1,111 per 100,000 white males). More than 1% of white male residents ages 30 to 39 were in state or federal prison at yearend 2014. Black males exceeded 6% of their total U.S. population in prison for persons ages 30 to 39.
"Female prisoners ages 30 to 34 had the highest imprisonment rates among black (264 per 100,000 black females of the same age), white (163 per 100,000), and Hispanic inmates (174 per 100,000). Black females were between 1.6 and 4.1 times more likely to be imprisoned than white females of any age group."
(State and Federal Prison Populations by Race, Gender, and Latino/Hispanic Ethnicity, 2014) "An estimated 516,900 black males were in state or federal prison at yearend 2014, accounting for 37% of the male prison population (table 10, appendix table 3). White males made up 32% of the male prison population (453,500 prison inmates), followed by Hispanics (308,700 inmates or 22%). White females (53,100 prisoners) in state or federal prison at yearend 2014 outnumbered both black (22,600) and Hispanic (17,800) females.
"As a percentage of residents of all ages at yearend 2014, 2.7% of black males (or 2,724 per 100,000 black male residents) and 1.1% of Hispanic males (1,090 per 100,000 Hispanic males) were serving sentences of at least 1 year in prison, compared to less than 0.5% of white males (465 per 100,000 white male residents). On December 31, 2014, black males had higher imprisonment rates than prisoners of other races or Hispanic origin within every age group. Imprisonment rates for black males were 3.8 to 10.5 times greater at each age group than white males and 1.4 to 3.1 times greater than rates for Hispanic males. The largest disparity between white and black male prisoners occurred among inmates ages 18 to 19. Black males (1,072 prisoners per 100,000 black male residents ages 18 to 19) were more than 10 times more likely to be in state or federal prison than whites (102 per 100,000)."
(Jail Inmate Population in the US by Gender and by Race/Ethnicity, 2014) "Males have made up at least 85% of the jail population since 2000. The female inmate population increased 18.1% (up 16,700 inmates) between midyear 2010 and 2014, while the male population declined 3.2% (down 20,900 inmates) (table 2, table 3). The female jail population grew by an average of about 1.6% every year between 2005 and 2014. In comparison, the male jail population declined by 0.3% every year since 2005 (not shown).
"White inmates accounted for 47% of the total jail population, blacks represented 35%, and Hispanics represented 15% at midyear 2014. From midyear 2010 to 2014, white inmates increased by 21,200, while black (19,400) and Hispanic (7,500) inmates declined."
At mid-year 2014, local jails in the US held 744,592 people of whom 635,500 were male and 109,100 were female. Juveniles held as adults numbered 3,700, plus an additional 500 juveniles were held as juveniles. Racial demographics were as follows: white, 352,800; black/African-American, 263,800; Hispanic/Latino, 110,600; American Indian/Alaska native: 10,400; Asian/native Hawaiian/other Pacific islander: 6,000; two or more races: 1,000.
(African American Males in Prison in the US) "On December 31, 2014, black males had higher imprisonment rates than prisoners of other races or Hispanic origin within every age group. Imprisonment rates for black males were 3.8 to 10.5 times greater at each age group than white males and 1.4 to 3.1 times greater than rates for Hispanic males. The largest disparity between white and black male prisoners occurred among inmates ages 18 to 19. Black males (1,072 prisoners per 100,000 black male residents ages 18 to 19) were more than 10 times more likely to be in state or federal prison than whites (102 per 100,000)."
(People In The US Serving Time In State Prison For Drug Offenses, by Race, 2013) The most serious offense for 208,000 of the 1,325,305 people in the US sentenced to state facilities at the end of 2013 was a conviction involving illegal drugs. That represents 15% of all sentenced prisoners under state jurisdiction. Of this total: 67,800 (32.6%) were non-Hispanic white, 79,900 (38.4%) were non-Latino/Hispanic African Americans, and 39,900 (19.2%) were Latino/Hispanic.
(Note: The Bureau of Justice Statistics annual report on prisoners does not provide separate counts for inmates who identify as American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, and persons identifying two or more races.)
(Female Incarceration Rates by Race/Ethnicity) According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, at midyear 2010, the incarceration rate for females was 126 per 100,000 population. The rate for non-Hispanic white females was 91, for non-Hispanic black females the rate was 260, and for Hispanic women the rate was 133.Source:Glaze, Lauren E., "Correctional Population in the United States, 2010," Bureau of Justice Statistics (Washington, DC: Department of Justice, December 2011), NCJ 236319, Appendix Table 3, p. 8.
(Adults on Community Supervision by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Most Serious Offense) According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics:
Of the 3,971,319 adults on probation as of 12/31/2011, 75% were male and 25% were female. Also, 54% of probationers were non-Hispanic Whites, 31% were non_Hispanic Blacks, 13% were Hispanic/Latino, 1% were American Indian/Alaska Native, and 1% were Asian/Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander. Drug offenses were the most serious offenses for 25% of all probationers in 2011.
Of the 853,852 adults on parole as of 12/31/2011, 89% were male and 11% were female. Also, 41% were non-Hispanic Whites, 39% were non-Hispanic Blacks, 18% were Hispanic/Latino, and 1% were American Indian/Alaska Native. Drug offenses were the most serious offense for 33% of all parolees in 2011.Source:Maruschak, Laura M., and Parks, Erika, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Probation and Parole in the United States, 2011" (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, November 2012), NCJ 239686, Appendix Table 2, p. 16; Appendix Table 3, p. 17; Appendix Table 4, p. 18; and Appendix Table 6, p. 20.
(Estimated Population of Young Adults in the US With a Parent Who Has Ever Spent Time in Jail or Prison) "The prevalence of any PI [Parental Incarceration] was 12.5% with the 95% confidence interval (CI) of 11.3% to 13.8%. The distribution of incarceration status by category was: neither parent (87.5%, 95% CI: 86.2%–88.7%), father only (9.9%, 95% CI: 8.9%–10.9%), mother only (1.7%, 95% CI: 1.4%–2.0%), and both parents (0.9%, 95% CI: 0.7%–1.2%). A significant association was found between race and PI. Black and Hispanic individuals had the highest prevalence of PI, 20.6% and 14.8%, compared with 11.9% for white individuals and 11.6% for those classified as other. Pairwise comparison indicated the black and white prevalence rates were significantly different."
Note: Regarding study sample size: "The current study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a 4-wave longitudinal study following a nationally representative probability sample of adolescents in grades 7 through 12 in the 1994–1995 school year.46 The first 3 waves of Add
Health data were collected from April to December 1995, from April to August 1996, and from August 2001 to April 2002. The fourth wave of data was collected in 2007 and 2008. The full sample for Wave 4 included 15 701 or 80.3% of the eligible participants from Wave 1. The response rates for Waves 1, 2, 3, and 4 were 79.0%, 88.6%, 77.4%, and 80.3%, respectively. The mean ages of participants during the 4 waves of data collection were 15.7 years, 16.2 years, 22.0 years, and 28.8 years, respectively.
"The current study was based on 14,800 participants who were interviewed during Wave 1 and Wave 4 and have a sampling weight. Of the 15,701 participants who participated in both Wave 1 and Wave 4 interviews, 14,800 participants have a sampling weight at Wave 4 interview that could be used to compute population estimates. For data analysis, data describing participants’ sociodemographic characteristics from Wave 1 of the Add Health study were combined with Wave 4 self-reported health outcomes and PI history."Source:Rosalyn D. Lee, Xiangming Fang and Feijun Luo, "The Impact of Parental Incarceration on the Physical and Mental Health of Young Adults." Pediatrics 2013;131;e1188; originally published online March 18, 2013; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-0627.
(Incarceration Rates by Race and Gender) "Changes in the incarceration rates for men and women by race were associated with changes to the overall composition of the custody population at midyear 2007. Black men had an incarceration rate of 4,618 per 100,000 U.S. residents at midyear 2007, down from 4,777 at midyear 2000. For white men, the midyear 2007 incarceration rate was 773 per 100,000 U.S. residents, up from 683 at midyear 2000. The ratio of the incarceration rates of black men to white men declined from 7 to 6 during this period.
"Changes in the incarceration rates for women were more distinct. At midyear 2000, black women were incarcerated at a rate 6 times that of white women (or 380 per 100,000 U.S. residents versus 63 per 100,000 U.S. residents). By June 30, 2007, the incarceration rate for black women declined to 3.7 times that of white women (or 348 versus 95). An 8.4% decline in the incarceration rate for black women and a 51% increase in the rate for white women accounted for the overall decrease in the incarceration rate of black women relative to white women at midyear 2007."Source:Sabol, William J., PhD, and Couture, Heather, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison Inmates at Midyear 2007 (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, June 2008), NCJ221944, p. 8.
(Male Incarceration Rate In The US 2007, By Race/Ethnicity) "The custody incarceration rate for black males was 4,618 per 100,000. Hispanic males were incarcerated at a rate of 1,747 per 100,000. Compared to the estimated numbers of black, white, and Hispanic males in the U.S. resident population, black males (6 times) and Hispanic males (a little more than 2 times) were more likely to be held in custody than white males. At midyear 2007 the estimated incarceration rate of white males was 773 per 100,000.
"Across all age categories, black males were incarcerated at higher rates than white or Hispanic males. Black males ages 30 to 34 had the highest custody incarceration rate of any race, age, or gender group at midyear 2007."Source:Sabol, William J., PhD, and Couture, Heather, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison Inmates at Midyear 2007 (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, June 2008), NCJ221944, p. 7.
(Inmates by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Age) "Of the 2.3 million inmates in custody, 2.1 million were men and 208,300 were women (table 9). Black males represented the largest percentage (35.4%) of inmates held in custody, followed by white males (32.9%) and Hispanic males (17.9%).
"Over a third (33.8%) of the total male custody population was ages 20 to 29 (appendix table 10). The largest percentage of black (35.5%) and Hispanic (39.9%) males held in custody were ages 20 to 29. White males ages 35 to 44 accounted for the largest percentage (30.1%) of the white male custody population.
"The largest percentage (35.9%) of the female custody population was ages 30 to 39. Over a third of white females (35.9%) were ages 30 and 39. The largest percentage (36.8%) of Hispanic females in custody was ages 20 to 29."Source:Sabol, William J., PhD, and Couture, Heather, "Prison Inmates at Midyear 2007," (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, June 2008), NCJ221944, p. 7.
(Children with Parents Behind Bars) "Among white children in 1980, only 0.4 of 1 percent had an incarcerated parent; by 2008 this figure had increased to 1.75 percent. Rates of parental incarceration are roughly double among Latino children, with 3.5 percent of children having a parent locked up by 2008. Among African American children, 1.2 million, or about 11 percent, had a parent incarcerated by 2008."Source:Western , Bruce; Pettit, Becky, "Incarceration & social inequality," Dædalus (Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Summer 2010), p. 16.
(Parents Behind Bars, 2008) "The growth of incarceration in America has intergenerational impacts that policy makers will have to confront. According to this analysis, more than 1.2 million inmates — over half of the 2.3 million people behind bars — are parents of children under age 18. This includes more than 120,000 mothers and more than 1.1 million fathers. The racial concentration that characterizes incarceration rates also extends to incarcerated parents. Nearly half a million black fathers, for example, are behind bars, a number that represents 40 percent of all incarcerated parents.
"The most alarming news lurking within these figures is that there are now 2.7 million minor children (under age 18) with a parent behind bars. (See Figure 9.) Put more starkly, 1 in every 28 children in the United States — more than 3.6 percent — now has a parent in jail or prison. Just 25 years ago, the figure was only 1 in 125.
"For black children, incarceration is an especially common family circumstance. More than 1 in 9 black children has a parent in prison or jail, a rate that has more than quadrupled in the past 25 years. (See Figure 10.)
"Because far more men than women are behind bars, most children with an incarcerated parent are missing their father.37 For example, more than 10 percent of African American children have an incarcerated father, and 1 percent have an incarcerated mother."Source:The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2010. Collateral Costs: Incarceration’s Effect on Economic Mobility. Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts, p. 18.
(Parents in Prison) "Similar to men in the general prison population (93%), parents held in the nation's prisons at midyear 2007 were mostly male (92%) (not shown in table). More than 4 in 10 fathers were black, about 3 in 10 were white, and about 2 in 10 were Hispanic (appendix table 2). An estimated 1,559,200 children had a father in prison at midyear 2007; nearly half (46%) were children of black fathers.
"Almost half (48%) of all mothers held in the nation's prisons at midyear 2007 were white, 28% were black, and 17% were Hispanic. Of the estimated 147,400 children with a mother in prison, about 45% had a white mother. A smaller percentage of the children had a black (30%) or Hispanic (19%) mother."Source:Glaze, Lauren E. and Maruschak, Laura M., "Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children" (Washington, DC: USDOJ, Bureau of Justice Statistics, August 2008, Revised March 30, 2010), NCJ222984, p. 2.
(Odds of Incarceration for Marijuana in CA) "Compared to Non-blacks, California’s African-American population are 4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana, 12 times more likely to be imprisoned for a marijuana felony arrest, and 3 times more likely to be imprisoned per marijuana possession arrest. Overall, as Figure 3 illustrates, these disparities accumulate to 10 times’ greater odds of an African-American being imprisoned for marijuana than other racial/ethnic groups."Source:Males, Mike, "Misdemeanor marijuana arrests are skyrocketing and other California marijuana enforcement disparities," Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (San Francisco, CA: November 2011), p. 6.
(Incarceration of People of Color) "Mass arrests and incarceration of people of color – largely due to drug law violations46 – have hobbled families and communities by stigmatizing and removing substantial numbers of men and women. In the late 1990s, nearly one in three African-American men aged 20-29 were under criminal justice supervision, 47 while more than two out of five had been incarcerated – substantially more than had been incarcerated a decade earlier and orders of magnitudes higher than that for the general population.48 Today, 1 in 15 African-American children and 1 in 42 Latino children have a parent in prison, compared to 1 in 111 white children.49 In some areas, a large majority of African-American men – 55 percent in Chicago, for example50 – are labeled felons for life, and, as a result, may be prevented from voting and accessing public housing, student loans and other public assistance."Source:"Drug Courts Are Not the Answer: Toward a Health-Centered Approach to Drug Use" Drug Policy Alliance (New York, NY: March 2011), p. 9.
(Offense Distribution of People Serving Time In State Prisons in the US at Year-End 2013, by Race/Ethnicity and Gender) "More than half of all state prisoners on December 31, 2013 (the most recent date for which offense data are available) were serving sentences of at least 1 year for violent offenses on their current term of imprisonment (704,800 prisoners or 53%), including 165,600 persons for murder or nonnegligent manslaughter and 166,200 for rape or sexual assault
(table 11, appendix table 4). A smaller percentage of females were sentenced for violent offenses (37%) than males (54%), although the proportion of those sentenced for murder was similar for males (13%) and females (11%) in state prisons. Almost 16% of state prisoners were convicted drug offenders (208,000 inmates), including 24% of all females in state prison (22,000 inmates) and 15% of all males in state prison (186,000 inmates).
"The percentage of white (15%), black (16%), and Hispanic (15%) state prisoners sentenced for drug offenses were similar, but a smaller percentage of whites were in prison for violent offenses (48%) than blacks (57%) and Hispanics (59%). The number of whites (78,500 prisoners) serving time for rape or another sexual offense at yearend 2013 was more than the total of both blacks (39,700 prisoners) and Hispanics (37,300 prisoners) in state prison for these crimes. Twenty-five percent of all white prisoners under state jurisdiction were serving time for property offenses, compared to 16% of black prisoners and 14% of Hispanic prisoners. Almost half (48% or 24,400 prisoners) of blacks imprisoned in state facilities for public order offenses were sentenced for weapons crimes, which include carrying, exhibiting, firing, possessing, or selling a weapon. State prisons held an additional 13,900 Hispanic and 11,200 white prisoners sentenced for weapons crimes."
(Problems of Systemic Racial Biases Within Drug Courts) "Importantly, representation of African-Americans in jails and prisons was nearly twice that of both Drug Courts and probation, and was also substantially higher among all arrestees for drug-related offenses. On one hand, these discrepancies might be explained by relevant differences in the populations. For example, minority arrestees might be more likely to have the types of prior convictions that could exclude them from eligibility for Drug Courts or probation. On the other hand, systemic differences in plea-bargaining, charging or sentencing practices might be having the practical effect of denying Drug Court and other community-based dispositions to otherwise needy and eligible minority citizens. Further research is needed to determine whether racial or ethnic minority citizens are being denied the opportunity for Drug Court for reasons that may be unrelated to their legitimate clinical needs or legal eligibility."Source:West Huddleston and Douglas B. Marlowe, "Painting the Current Picture: A National Report on Drug Courts and Other Problem Solving Court Programs in the United States" (Alexandria, VA: National Drug Court Institute, July 2011), NCJ 235776, p. 29.
(Racism and the War on Drugs) "The main obstacle to getting black America past the illusion that racism is still a defining factor in America is the strained relationship between young black men and police forces. The massive number of black men in prison stands as an ongoing and graphically resonant rebuke to all calls to 'get past racism,' exhibit initiative, or stress optimism. And the primary reason for this massive number of black men in jail is the War on Drugs. Therefore, if the War on Drugs were terminated, the main factor keeping race-based resentment a core element in the American social fabric would no longer exist. America would be a better place for all."Source:McWhorter, John, "How the War on Drugs Is Destroying Black America," Cato's Letter (Washington, DC: The Cato Institute, Winter 2011), p. 1.
(Racial Disparities in Enforcement and Incarceration) "The racial disparities in the rates of drug arrests culminate in dramatic racial disproportions among incarcerated drug offenders. At least two-thirds of drug arrests result in a criminal conviction.18 Many convicted drug offenders are sentenced to incarceration: an estimated 67 percent of convicted felony drug defendants are sentenced to jail or prison.19 The likelihood of incarceration increases if the defendant has a prior conviction.20 Since blacks are more likely to be arrested than whites on drug charges, they are more likely to acquire the convictions that ultimately lead to higher rates of incarceration. Although the data in this backgrounder indicate that blacks represent about one-third of drug arrests, they constitute 46 percent of persons convicted of drug felonies in state courts.21 Among black defendants convicted of drug offenses, 71 percent received sentences to incarceration in contrast to 63 percent of convicted white drug offenders.22 Human Rights Watch’s analysis of prison admission data for 2003 revealed that relative to population, blacks are 10.1 times more likely than whites to be sent to prison for drug offenses.23"Source:Fellner, Jamie, "Decades of Disparity: Drug Arrests and Race in the United States," Human Rights Watch (New York, NY: March 2009), p. 16.
(Racial and Gender Disparities) "Looking at the numbers through the lenses of race and gender reveals stark differences. Black adults are four times as likely as whites and nearly 2.5 times as likely as Hispanics to be under correctional control. One in 11 black adults—9.2 percent—was under correctional supervision at year end 2007. And although the number of female offenders continues to grow, men of all races are under correctional control at a rate five times that of women."Source:Pew Center on the States, "One in 31: The Long Reach of American Coorections," (Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts, March 2009), p. 5.
(Incarceration Rates Compared) "When incarceration rates by State (excluding Federal inmates) are estimated separately by gender, race, and Hispanic origin, male rates are found to be 10 times higher than female rates; black rates 5-1/2 times higher than white rates; and Hispanic rates nearly 2 times higher than white rates."Source:Harrison, Paige M., & Beck, Allen J., PhD, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, May 2006) (NCJ213133), p. 10.
(Chance of Imprisonment, 2001) "In 2001, the chances of going to prison were highest among black males (32.2%) and Hispanic males (17.2%) and lowest among white males (5.9%). The lifetime chances of going to prison among black females (5.6%) were nearly as high as for white males. Hispanic females (2.2%) and white females (0.9%) had much lower chances of going to prison."Source:Bonczar, Thomas P., US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Prevalence of Imprisonment in the US Population, 1974-2001," NCJ197976 (Washington DC: US Department of Justice, August 2003), p. 8.
(Parents in Prison, 1999) "Of the Nation's 72.3 million minor children in 1999, 2.1% had a parent in State or Federal prison. Black children (7.0%) were nearly 9 times more likely to have a parent in prison than white children (0.8%). Hispanic children (2.6%) were 3 times as likely as white children to have an inmate parent."Source:Mumola, Christopher J., US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Incarcerated Parents and Their Children (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, August 2000), p. 2.
(Incarceration of Young African-American Men) "The spectacular growth in the American penal system over the last three decades was concentrated in a small segment of the population, among young minority men with very low levels of education. By the early 2000s, prison time was a common life event for this group, and today more than two-thirds of African American male dropouts are expected to serve time in state or federal prison. These demographic contours of mass imprisonment have created a new class of social outsiders whose relationship to the state and society is wholly different from the rest of the population."Source:Western , Bruce; Pettit, Becky, "Incarceration & social inequality," Dædalus (Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Summer 2010), p. 16.
(Effects of "Three-Strikes" Laws) Due to harsh new sentencing guidelines, such as 'three-strikes, you're out,' "a disproportionate number of young Black and Hispanic men are likely to be imprisoned for life under scenarios in which they are guilty of little more than a history of untreated addiction and several prior drug-related offenses... States will absorb the staggering cost of not only constructing additional prisons to accommodate increasing numbers of prisoners who will never be released but also warehousing them into old age."
(Impact of Racial Disparities) At the start of the 1990s, the U.S. had more Black men (between the ages of 20 and 29) under the control of the nation's criminal justice system than the total number in college. This and other factors have led some scholars to conclude that, "crime control policies are a major contributor to the disruption of the family, the prevalence of single parent families, and children raised without a father in the ghetto, and the 'inability of people to get the jobs still available.'"Source:Craig Haney, Ph.D., and Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D., "The Past and Future of U.S. Prison Policy: Twenty-five Years After the Stanford Prison Experiment," American Psychologist, Vol. 53, No. 7 (July 1998), p. 716.
(Injustice of Racial Disparities) "The racially disproportionate nature of the war on drugs is not just devastating to black Americans. It contradicts faith in the principles of justice and equal protection of the laws that should be the bedrock of any constitutional democracy; it exposes and deepens the racial fault lines that continue to weaken the country and belies its promise as a land of equal opportunity; and it undermines faith among all races in the fairness and efficacy of the criminal justice system. Urgent action is needed, at both the state and federal level, to address this crisis for the American nation."Source:Summary and Recommendations from "Punishment and Prejudice: Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs" (Washington, DC: Human Rights Watch, June 2000)
(Strip Searches of Arrestees, England) "One study on the role of closed circuit television in a London police station emphasizes the potential for abuse and discrimination when police officers have discretion to strip search detainees.174 From May 1999 to September 2000, officers in the station processed over 7000 arrests.175 The station’s policy allowed officers of the same sex to conduct strip searches only if they felt it was necessary to remove drugs or a harmful object.176
"For each arrest, the researchers documented the detainee’s age, sex, ethnicity, and offense.177 A statistical analysis of these factors revealed that, as expected, people arrested for drug offenses were the most likely to be strip searched.178 The results also showed that while all other variables (age, sex, and offense) were controlled, females were less likely to be strip searched than males, and arrestees who were seventeen to twenty-three years old were more likely to be strip searched than other age groups.179 In addition, ethnicity influenced whether a strip search was conducted even when all other variables were taken into account. Specifically, compared to white Europeans, African-Caribbeans were twice as likely to be searched while Arabics and Orientals were half as likely.180 The researchers in the study concluded that the data at least 'raise . . . the spectre of police racism' and reveal that 'policing is unequally experienced,' though it is impossible to determine whether the disproportionate number of strip searches of African-Caribbeans is due to institutional racism or unintentional discrimination.181"Source:Ha, Daphne, "Blanket Policies for Strip Searching Pretrial Detainees: An Interdisciplinary Argument for Reasonableness," Fordham Law Review (New York, NY: Fordham University School of Law, May 2011) Vol. 79, No. 6, pp. 2740-2741.
(Blacks and Hispanics Under Control of the US Correctional System) In 2009, there were almost 3.6 million people of color who were on probation or parole or housed in federal, state or local jails. During the 20 years since 1990, the number of minority offenders has grown by about +51.1% and has consistently represented about 50% of those under control of the system, even though they collectively comprise only 30% of the U.S. population (blacks about 12.6% and Hispanics/Latinos 16.3%). Numbering about 1.3 million, blacks and Hispanics/Latinos made up about 60% of those housed in America's prisons and jails in 2009.
Minorities under control of the U.S. corrections system Minority Group 1990 2000 2007 2008 2009 % Chg
TOTAL persons in system 4,346,941 6,423,708 7,326,734 7,319,419 7,234,209 +63.0% Minorities in system 2,351,516 3,309,566 3,622,726 3,607,341 3,611,911 +51.1% Minority % of TOTAL 54.1% 51.5% 49.4% 49.3% 49.9% -- Blacks in system 1,614,195 2,347,066 2,446,834 2,453,170 2,472,920 +49.5% Blacks % of TOTAL 37.1% 36.5% 33.4% 33.5% 34.2% -- Hispanic/Latinos in system 737,321 962,500 1,175,892 1,154,171 1,138,991 +54.8% Hispanics/Latinos % of TOTAL 17.0% 15.0% 16.0% 15.8% 15.7% -- Percentage of minorities in prison 60.0% 63.4% 60.3% 60.4% 60.5% --
All of the above numbers represent estimates, not exact counts. The source reports from the Bureau of Justice Statistics for various years have been periodically revised. The methodologies used to collect these data may also be modified over time, rendering the percent change values approximations.
The "system" refers to the U.S criminal justice system, which includes probation, parole and prison. Prisons include facilities run by federal, state and local authorities.
The above numbers concerning probation and parole have been computed from the percentages that describe the "characteristics of adults" on probation or parole.
The "Percentage of minorities in prison" represents the proportion of black or Hispanic/Latino inmates housed in federal, state and local prisons/jails.
Source:These above data were referenced from a variety of reports that include:
Total Correctional Population: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=11
State and Federal Prisoners: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=13
State and Federal Prisoners, 1925-2001: http://www.census.gov/statab/hist/HS-24.pdf
Community Corrections (Probation and Parole): http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=15
Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics: http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/tost_6.html