A new report on state prisons claims that Black people are incarcerated at nearly five times the rate of Whites in the U.S.
The report from “The Sentencing Project” found that one in 81 Black adults per 100,000 people in the country are serving time in state prison. The report used data and projections taken from the U.S. Census in recent years, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, and information provided directly from some state agencies.
The report released today found “staggering disproportionalities” among the incarceration rates of Blacks and Latinx people compared to their Whites counterparts. In 12 states, more than half of the prison population is Black. And Latinx individuals are incarcerated in state prisons at 1.3 times the incarceration rate of Whites, the report claimed.
“Truly meaningful reforms to the criminal justice system cannot be accomplished without acknowledgment of its racist underpinnings,” Ashley Nellis, a senior research analyst for The Sentencing Project, wrote in the report.
“Immediate and focused attention on the causes and consequences of racial disparities is required in order to eliminate them,” she continued.
Nellis proposed three recommendations to address the racial disparities, including eliminating mandatory sentences for all crimes, requiring the use of racial impact statements to assess the impact of proposed crime legislation on different groups, and repeal existing racially biased laws.