Racial Disparities In US Prisons VS US Population

Did you know that only 13.4% of Americans are black? According to the United States Census Bureau, that leaves our population 76.6% white and only 10% Latino, Asian, and Native Americans combined. However, our incarceration rates do not reflect the same statistics. The Federal Bureau of Prisons released statistics last week that show 58.2% of US prisoners are white, 37.9% black, and only 3.9% other. I designed a graph to show just how skewed our justice system is.

As you can see, black imprisonment rates are higher in comparison to population percentage in the US than any other race. How is it that people of color are imprisoned at higher rates than white people, when whites represent 60% more of the population than blacks? This is an astonishing, though not surprising piece of information.

The mass incarceration of people of color has been an ongoing issue since the abolition of slavery. It would be naive to think this bias will go away anytime soon, as it will take generations to see any change. It is invigorating to know that people are so primitive in their ways of thinking about people that are different than themselves.

4 thoughts on “Racial Disparities In US Prisons VS US Population

  1. I think your graph makes it really clear how skewed our justice system is. It would also be interesting to see how gender plays a role in this. According to the US census bureau, black males accounted for 37% of the male prison population, white males accounted for 32% and hispanic males accounted for 22%.

  2. I have always known about how racist our incarceration system is from anthropology and political science courses, but this visual representation takes my understanding of this issue to a new level. Your graph shows just how skewed and racially biased our justice system is, and someone else in our commenting group made a graph about breakdown of the crimes of people in prison– this further shows that specifically our drug related felonies are highly racially biased.

  3. The information provided in this post is incredibly important and it is essential to shed light on this issue. The racial disparity in the US prison system shows that there are immense biases on many levels. Police have biases which cause them to focus on certain communities and assume guilt in specific people. It causes juries to judge some more harshly than others. It causes inequality within the prison system. And it shapes specific communities to assume certain fates for its citizens.

  4. The blog is really interesting as t shows the incarceration rate and people of color. The graph do a great job explaining the disparity between the difference in incarceration rate and race. People of color have been marginalized and the blog explains the difference between people and their environment.

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