New Report Finds Imprisonment Rate of Black Men Falls by Nearly 50% Since 2000 – Pushback Threatens Continued Progress 

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By Kapish Kalita

WASHINGTON, DC – The Sentencing Project recently released a report titled  “One in Five: Ending Racial Inequality in Incarceration,” which is part of a series that examines racial inequities in America’s criminal legal system, presenting an overview of trends in incarceration and community supervision and demonstrating the positive changes in the prison population.

The report’s findings note, “One in five Black men born in 2001 is likely to experience imprisonment,” a sharp “decline from one in three for those born in 1981.”

However, the report also found the increasing “pushback from policymakers threatens further advancement,” of justice within the prison system.

In addition to the information about the decreasing percentage of Black male imprisonment, the report also found “the Black prison population has downsized the most,” out of any ethnic or racial group in the overall prison population.

However, despite the immense progress made against ethnic disparities, the system of mass incarceration still remains present within the American prison system, the report said, adding “Black men were still imprisoned at 5.5 times the rate of white men” and Black women were “imprisoned at 1.6 times the rate of white women.”

Nazgol Ghandnoosh, co-director of research with The Sentencing Project, regards these statistics as a continued demonstration that “the United States remains fully in the era of mass incarceration.”

In addition to the continuance of mass incarceration in the U.S., there has been increased legislative pushback against criminal justice reform, according to the report.

This, the report adds, includes a Congressional proposal to expand mandatory minimum sentences for certain federal drug offenses, and a resolution overturning Washington, DC’s criminal code overhaul.

Worryingly this legislative pushback, the report warns, can be seen affecting the prison population, with the DOJ reporting “that the prison population increased for the first time in almost a decade between 2021 and 2022.”

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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