Shocking statistics show the disproportionate number of black people in jail’s and prisons throughout the United States today.
The U.S. has more prisoners than Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran and many other countries we typically view as undemocratic. The U.S comprises 5% of the worlds population, yet it has 25% of the worlds prisoners.
Research suggests the United States treats its black prisoners unfairly. For instance, did you know …
- More black people are in a correctional facility than in 1850 slaveholding America
- More black people are in jail today than there were in Apartheid South Africa
- More black people are feeling disenfranchised today than the time when the Constitutional Amendment giving black voting rights was ratified
The washingtonblog.com reports:
Michelle Alexander – a law school professor who directed Stanford Law School’s Civil Rights Clinic and served as law clerk for Justice Harry Blackmun at the U. S. Supreme Court – notes:
The United States incarcerates a higher percentage of black men than South Africa did at the height of apartheid
Primarily because of these significant incarceration rates, the level of black youth poverty is higher today than it was in 1968
An African-American male is sentenced an average of a 20 to 50 times longer prison term then a white male convicted of the same drug crime.
Over 2.3 million men in America are in prison — about half for drug crimes. Seventy percent of all men imprisoned are black or Hispanic. Thirty years ago, before the “War on Drugs” was implemented, there were only 300,000 people in the American prison system.
There are 2.7 million children whose fathers or mothers are in prison, on probation, or on parole.
There are 7 million Americans either in prison, on probation, or on parole — mostly for selling or using drugs. In many inner cities, eighty percent of young men have prison records. These convictions will remain on their records permanently, limiting their voting rights and their ability to find employment. Currently, in all but two states, citizens with felony convictions are permanently or temporarily prohibited from voting. The United States is the only country that permits permanent disenfranchisement of felons even after completion of their sentences.
– Since 1971, there have been more than 40 million arrests for drug-related offenses.
– Even though blacks and whites have similar levels of drug use, blacks are ten times as likely to be incarcerated for drug crimes.
– “There are more blacks under correctional control today — in prison or jail, on probation or parole — than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.”
– “As of 2004, more African American men were disenfranchised (due to felon disenfranchisement laws) than in 1870, the year the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race.”
– In 2005, 4 out of 5 drug arrests were for possession not trafficking, and 80% of the increase in drug arrests in the 1990s was for marijuana.
– There are 50,000 arrests for low-level pot possession a year in New York City, representing one out of every seven cases that turn up in criminal courts. Most of these arrested are black and hispanic men.
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