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Racial Disparities in Incarceration

NAACP| Criminal Justice Fact Sheet

In 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population. African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites.The imprisonment rate for African American women is twice that of whites. African American children represent 32% of children who are arrested 42% of children who are detained, and 52% of children whose cases are judicially waived to criminal court.Though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately 32% of the US population, they comprised 56% of all incarcerated people in 2015.If African Americans and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates as whites, prison and jail populations would decline by almost 40%.

 

DRUG SENTENCING DISPARITIES NAACP| Criminal Justice Fact Sheet


In the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 17 million whites and 4 million African Americans reported having used an illicit drug within the last month. African Americans and whites use drugs at similar rates, but the imprisonment rate of African Americans for drug charges is almost 6 times that of whites.African Americans represent 12.5% of illicit drug users, but 29% of those arrested for drug offenses and 33% of those incarcerated in state facilities for drug offenses.

 

EFFECTS OF INCARCERATION

NAACP| Criminal Justice Fact Sheet


A criminal record can reduce the likelihood of a callback or job offer by nearly 50 percent. The negative impact of a criminal record is twice as large for African American applicants.

Infectious diseases are highly concentrated in corrections facilities: 15% of jail inmates and 22% of prisoners – compared to 5% of the general population – reported ever having tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, or other STDs.


In 2012 alone, the United States spent nearly $81 billion on corrections.

Spending on prisons and jails has increased at triple the rate of spending on Pre‐K‐12 public education in the last thirty years.

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