Statistics of incarcerated African-American males
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The process of gathering and analyzing statistics on an incarcerated African-American male has been taken by several studies on a specific age group, geographical location, causes of incarceration or simply the upbringing of a child over a course of years. Approximately 12%-13% of the American population is African-American, but they make up 40% of the almost 2.1 million male inmates in jail or prison (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009). Census data for 2000 of the number and race of all individuals incarcerated in the United States revealed a wide racial disproportion of the incarcerated population in each state: the proportion of blacks in prison populations exceeded the proportion among state residents in twenty states; the percent of blacks incarcerated was five times greater than the resident population.
According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), African Americans constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population, and have nearly six times the rate of whites. In an August 2013, Sentencing Project report on Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System, submitted to the United Nations, "one of every three black American males born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime".
Statistics by age group
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- A black male born in 1991 has a 29% chance of spending time in prison at some point in his life.
- Nearly one in three African American males aged 20–29 are under some form of criminal justice supervision whether imprisoned, jailed, on parole or probation.
- One out of nine African American men will be incarcerated between the ages of 20 and 34.
- Black males ages 30 to 34 have the highest incarceration rate of any race/ethnicity.
(According to America Community Survey.)
Prison vs. College
Several studies have concluded that overall, more black males are in prison than are enrolled in colleges and universities. In 2000 there were 791,600 black men in prison and 603,032 enrolled in college versus 1980, when there were 143,000 black men in prison and 463,700 enrolled in college. In 2003, according to Justice Department figures, 193,000 black college-age men were in prison, while 532,000 black college-age men were attending college. On an average day in 1996, more black male high school dropouts aged 20–35 were in custody than in paid employment; by 1999, over one-fifth of black non-college men in their early 30’s had prison records.
Other studies contradict this, see NPR Are There Really More Black Men In Prison Than College?.
Black Dropouts by Year
Percentage of Black high school dropouts 16 to 25
The government is building prisons based on third grade reading test scores. They can conclude whether or not a child will go to prison at some point if their literacy score is low. Recent national data from a study of beginning kindergartners show conclusively that African American males start school already behind other groups of children with respect to emergent reading and mathematical skills (ECLS-K, 1998). Thus, problems in elementary school may have roots in the preschool years. Most African American Children are behind on reading but excel in other subjects (Jencks & Phillips, 1998). The gaps don't stop in elementary school, but are evident in middle and high school if never caught up by the early elementary years (Gordon 2-4)
A new release as September 2012 from Schott Foundation finds only 52% of Black males graduate from high school. From 2001-2002 black males increased and by 10 percent, and 2010–11,was the first year that more than half the black males received a diploma according to Holzman, Michael (2012), Jackson, John H.; Beaudry, Ann, eds., The Urgency of Now: The Schott 50 state report on public education and black males, Schott Foundation for Public Education, retrieved 2014-03-02.
The leading causes of incarceration for African American males
- The leading cause of incarceration of an African American male is a non-violent drug offense. www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/node/64
- Between 1985 and 1995 the American prison population of drug offenders increased from 38,900 to 224,900 with African American males at the top (King 166).
- Person crimes
- Property crimes
- "Prison Inmates 2009 - Statistical Tables (Table 16).".
- "Criminal Justice Fact Sheet". National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
- "Report of The Sentencing Project to the United Nations Human Rights Committee:Regarding Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System". August 2013. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
- Knafo, Saki (10/04/2013). "1 In 3 Black Males Will Go To Prison In Their Lifetime, Report Warns". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
- Western, Bruce (August 2002). "The Impact of Incarceration on Wage Mobility and Inequality".
- http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc/faculty/western/pdfs/western_asr.pdf[dead link]
- Miller, Jerome G. (1993). African American Males in the Criminal Justice System.
- Boothe, Demico (2007). Why are So Many Black Men in Prison?. Full Surface Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9792953-0-0.
- Othello Harris; R. Robin Miller (2006). Impacts of Incarceration on the African American Family. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4128-2597-9.
- Pettit, Becky (2012). Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress. Russell Sage Foundation. ISBN 978-1-61044-778-2.
- King, Wilma. African American Childhoods: Historical Perspectives from Slavery to Civil Rights . Wilma King. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Print.
- Gordon, Jacob U. (2004). The Black Male in White America. Nova Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59033-757-8.
- Alexander, Michelle (2013). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New Press. ISBN 978-1-59558-819-7.
- Roberts, Dorothy E. (2004). "Social and Moral Cost of Mass Incarceration in African American Communities". Pennsylvania Law School.
- Miller, Jerome G.. Search and Destroy: African-American Males in the Criminal Justice. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-74381-5.