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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98980 Find in a Library
Title: Our Black Prisons (From Criminal Justice System and Blacks, P 259-270, 1984, Daniel Georges-Abeyie, ed. - See NCJ-98968)
Author(s): S Christianson
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
New York, NY 10014
Sale Source: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
435 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
United States of America
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The extent and societal effects of the disproportionate representation of blacks and other minorities in American prisons is summarized, and implications are discussed.
Abstract: In 1973 and 1979, white incarceration rates ranged from 23.1 to 100.5 per 100,000, while rates for blacks ranged from 340.3 to 580.4. Further, this disproportionality increased substantially in every region of the country and in 47 of 51 jurisdictions. Considering that 96 percent of all prisoners in State correctional institutions are male, the issue of disproportionality takes on added meaning. At the end of 1978, 1.1 percent of the adult black male population was imprisoned. These figures can only suggest the extraordinary impact of imprisonment on the black community and black families. The usual response to this racial disproportionality is that blacks, because of their criminal acts, deserve to be imprisoned more than whites. However, research has found no significant correlation between a State's crime rate and its minority population or between its crime rate and incarceration rate. A correlation between a State's racial composition and its incarceration rate has been found. Racially disproportionate rates of incarceration have been a part of criminal justice in this country for more than a century. The gap between black and white incarceration rates is nationwide and growing. This racial imbalance raises constitutional issues which must be addressed through intensive research and litigation. Thirty footnotes and three data tables are included.
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Correctional reform; Corrections policies; Corrections statistics; Racial discrimination; Sentencing disparity
Note: Reprinted from Crime and Delinquency, V 27, N 3 (July 1981)
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