|The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons|
|By Terry Campbell, Professor, Purdue University Global|
Our November topic is “Minority Issues.” I conducted some additional research on this topic and came away with three very good articles. I strongly suggest you take time to review and then see if information contained in the articles coincides with your thoughts, or perhaps you may learn something new.
At the same time, the following data was interesting; ‘In 2016, blacks represented 12% of the U.S. adult population but 33% of the sentenced prison population. Whites accounted for 64% of adults but 30% of prisoners. And while Hispanics represented 16% of the adult population, they accounted for 23% of inmates.” These numbers place the incarceration rates in a clearer perspective. Now, when we look at racial differences in prison populations we find “in 2016, there were 1,608 black prisoners for every 100.000 black adults; more than five times the imprisonment rate for whites (274 per 100,000) and nearly double the rate for Hispanics (856 per 100,000). Again, this additional data supplements previous information. One of the next questions is what contributed to this? I will look at some areas after we look at some additional information.
I feel we also need to look at community supervision statistics for the same/similar time frames.
Characteristics of adults on probation 2000, 2015, and 2016 .
“The rate of adults under community supervision fell to 1,811 per 100,000 U.S. adult residents 2016. The rate of adults under community supervision declined from 1,872 offenders per 100,000 U.S. adult residents at year-end 2015 to 1,811 per 100,000 at year-end 2016.
The rate of adults on probation declined from 1,526 offenders per 100,000 U.S. adult residents at year-end 2015 to 1,467 at year-end 2016. The parole rate slightly decreased, from 350 offenders per 100,000 in 2015 to 349 per 100,000 in 2016.”
The data presented can be located in the ‘Probation and Parole in the United States, 2016,’ dated April 2018. (25 pages). The additional information is suggested for your review.
The ‘Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons.’ This document is very informative and provides a nice overview state by state. In addition, I suggest you take time to review the following areas: The Scale of Disparity, Drivers of Disparity, Recommendations for Reform, and
I identified some reasons for the disparities from my research and own personal opinions. As you take time to review, see if these areas are in line with your own thoughts and your research conducted. I should note each of these areas alone is an article presentation you can easily write and submit for review.
Thanks and stay safe out there.
Terry Campbell is a criminal justice professor at Purdue University Global and has more than 20 years of experience in corrections and policing. He has served in various roles, including prison warden and parole administrator, for the Arkansas Department of Corrections. Terry may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other articles by Campbell
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