- The United States leads the world in the number - 2.3 million - and percentage of residents it holds in prison. One in every 38 individuals is involved with the criminal justice system through probation, parole, prison or jail.
- About 78 percent of Illinois drug offenders are African-American, vastly higher than their 15 percent share of the overall population.
- A Human Rights Watch study from 2000 found that Illinois ranked first in the country with respect to racial disparities in prison sentences for drug crimes.
- The number of African-Americans admitted to prison in Illinois for drug offenses grew from 1,421 in 1990 to 9,088 in 2000 - a six-fold increase. During this same period, there was virtually no change in the number of whites admitted to prison.
- This difference exists despite the fact that rates of illicit drug use vary little by ethnicity.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Prison, Drug Crimes and Racial Disparities
Here are some facts posted recently by Protestants for the Common Good.