The Growing Racial Disparity in Prison Time

The racial disparity between black and white people sent to state prisons is declining, and it has been for some time, according to The Marshall Project.

“But criminal justice researchers say people of all races still aren’t treated equally when it comes to one important measure: time served behind bars,” they write. 

The article says:

While arrest and prison admission rates are dropping for black people—in 2016, black people went to state prison at five times the rate of white people, down from eight times in 2000—they are spending longer in prison than their white peers. This trend, noted in a report published by the nonpartisan think tank the Council on Criminal Justice today, potentially offsets broader efforts to make the system more equitable, the researchers say.When it comes to drug and property crimes, black people are serving increasingly more time, growing at a rate of 1 percent or more on average every year, as the time served in prison by white offenders dropped. For violent crimes, although both groups served longer from 2000 to 2016, the prison time for black people grew at a rate almost twice as fast, according to the report.

The question is why.

Read the full article by The Marshall Project. 

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