Race & Prisons

21. People Held in Prisons in 2007, 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."

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.
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub...

22. 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."

Pew Center on the States, "One in 31: The Long Reach of American Coorections," (Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts, March 2009), p. 5.
http://www.pewcenteronthestate...

23. Number of People in the US Serving Time in State and Federal Prisons in 2015 by age, sex, race, and Latinx ethnicity

On December 31, 2015, state and federal prisons combined held a total of 1,476,847 people, of whom 499,400 were non-Latinx whites, 523,000 were non-Latinx blacks, 319,400 Latinx, and 135,100 whose race/ethnicity was counted as "other".

Click here for complete datatable of Number of People in the US Serving Time in State and Federal Prisons, by age, sex, race, and Latinx ethnicity, on December 31, 2015

Carson, E. Ann, and Mulako-Wangota, Joseph. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Estimated sentenced state and federal prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents, by sex, race, Hispanic origin, and age, December 31, 2015. Generated using the Corrections Statistical Analysis Tool (CSAT) - Prisoners at www.bjs.gov on December 31, 2016.
https://www.bjs.gov/...
https://www.bjs.gov/nps/...

24. 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."

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.
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub...

25. 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."

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.
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub...

26. 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."

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.
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub...

27. Changing Racial and Ethnic Statistical Classifications in the US Correctional System Over Time

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics:
"Declining percentage of blacks among sentenced prisoners
"Comparisons of changes in the racial composition of prison populations over time are constrained by new data collection methodologies. Following guidelines provided by the Office of Management and Budget, beginning in 2005 BJS estimated racial composition of the prison population separately for persons identifying with one race (97%) and those identifying with two or more races (3%). These guidelines have reduced the number and percent of persons identified as non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black prisoners. In addition, administrative data on the race and Hispanic origin of prisoners reported to BJS by corrections officials also overstate the number of non-Hispanic white and black prisoners and understate the number of Hispanics and persons of two or more races.2
"Both administrative and estimated data indicate an overall decline among black prisoners from 2000 through 2006. The 2006 administrative data show a decline from 46.2% to 41.6%, while the estimated data indicate a decline from 42.4% to 37.5% (table 8)."
"2 Some jurisdictions are not able to report Hispanics or persons of two or more races as a separate category as requested under OMB guidelines."

Click here for complete datatable of Estimated number of adults on probation, in jail, in prison, or on parole and their percent of the adult population, by sex and race, 1990.

Click here for complete datatable of Imprisonment rate of sentenced state and federal prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents, by demographic characteristics, December 31, 2014

Click here for the complete datatable of Number of sentenced prisoners under jurisdiction of state or federal correctional authorities, by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin, December 31, 2014

Click here for the complete datatable of Number of sentenced prisoners under State or Federal jurisdiction, by gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age, 2000

Click here for complete datatable of Sentenced prisoners under State or Federal jurisdiction per 100,000 residents, by gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age, 2000

Click here for complete datatable of Characteristics of adults on probation in the US, 2000, 2013, and 2014

Click here for complete datatable of Characteristics of adults on parole in the US, 2000, 2013, and 2014

William J. Sabol, PhD, Heather Couture, and Paige M. Harrison, "Prisoners in 2006" (Washington, DC: US Dept of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dec. 2007), NCJ219416, p. 7.
http://bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf...
Carson, E. Ann. Prisoners In 2014. Washington, DC: US Dept of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sept. 2015, NCJ248955, Table 10, p. 15, and Appendix Table 3, p. 29.
http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?t... http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub...
Kaeble, Danielle, Maruschak, Laura M., and Bonczar, Thomas P. Probation and Parole in the United States, 2014. Washington, DC: US Dept of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Nov. 2015. NCJ249057, Table 4, p. 5, Table 6, p. 7, and Table 1, p. 2.
http://bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf...
Beck, Allen J., PhD, and Harrison, Paige M. Prisoners in 2000. Washington, DC: US Dept of Justice Statistics, Aug. 2001, NCJ188207, Table 14, p. 10, and Table 15, p. 11
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub...
Jankowski, Louis W. Correctional Populations in the United States, 1990. Washington, DC: US Dept of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1992, NCJ134946, Table 1.2, P. 6.
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles...

28. 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.'"

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.
http://www.csdp.org/research/h...

29. Impact of the Over-Incarceration of Young Black Males in the US

"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."

Western , Bruce; Pettit, Becky, "Incarceration & social inequality," Dædalus (Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Summer 2010), p. 16.
http://www.mitpressjournals.or...

30. 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."

Summary and Recommendations from "Punishment and Prejudice: Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs" (Washington, DC: Human Rights Watch, June 2000)
http://www.hrw.org/legacy/camp...
http://www.hrw.org/legacy/repo...

31. 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."

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. 718.
http://www.prisonexp.org/pdf/a...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu...

32. 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"

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.
http://fordhamlawreview.org/as...

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