FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

The Law Officer's Pocket Manual - Bloomberg BNA
This handy 4" x 6" spiral-bound manual offers examples showing how rules are...

Top News

New Report Examines Inmate Demographics

July 20, 2007  | 

A new analysis by The Sentencing Project provides a regional examination of the racial and ethnic dynamics of incarceration in the U.S. The report, "Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration by Race and Ethnicity," finds that African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six (5.6) times the rate of whites and Hispanics nearly double (1.8) the rate.

The report also reveals wide variation in incarceration by state, with states in the Northeast and Midwest exhibiting the greatest black-to-white disparity in incarceration. In five states—Iowa, Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Wisconsin—African Americans are incarcerated at more than 10 times the rate of whites.

The Sentencing Project is a national organization based in Washington, D.C., that promotes reforms in sentencing law and practice, and alternatives to incarceration. The group's interpretation of the results reflects this mission.

"Racial disparities in incarceration reflect a failure of social and economic interventions to address crime effectively and also indicate racial bias in the justice system," stated Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project. "The broad variation in the use of incarceration nationally suggests that policy decisions can play a key role in determining the size and composition of the prison population."

The report extends the findings of previous analyses by incorporating jail populations in the overall incarceration rate and by assessing the impact of incarceration on the Hispanic community, representing an increasing share of the prison population. The state figures for Hispanic incarceration also reveal broad variation nationally. Three states—Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania—have a Hispanic-to-white ratio of incarceration more than three times the national average.

According to The Sentencing Project, prior research from the Department of Justice has demonstrated that if current trends continue, one in three black males and one in six Hispanic males born today can expect to go to prison. Rates for women are lower overall, but exhibit similar racial and ethnic disparities.

For more information about the report and the organization that developed it, visit

Be the first to comment on this story

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Elbeco's New Reflex Uniform Now Available
Elbeco's new Reflex uniform series, which extends the concept of the daily duty uniform,...
Company Says It Provided Right Address to Dispatcher the Night Missouri Officer Killed
The day after the shooting, investigators revealed the 911 call originated in Windsor, Mo....
Experts Believe Anonymous Tip Lines Can Prevent School Shootings
In Colorado, at least two high school students were arrested based on information sent to...
Autopsy Shows Chicago Police Commander Shot 6 Times
Bauer, 53, a 31-year department veteran who headed the Near North patrol district, was...
NYPD Sued Over Removal of Religious Head Coverings for Booking Photos
The suit challenges a 2015 NYPD policy requiring that booking photos have an unobstructed...

Police Magazine