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January 25, 2009

"Racial Disproportionality in the American Prison Population"

The title of this post is the start of the title of this article from the Fall 2008 issue of the Justice Policy Journal.  Especially after a week in which many are eager to assert we have entered a new era when it comes to racial issues and justice issues, the article provide an important reminder of some critical criminal justice reality. As I have mentioned throughout the week, President Obama's Inaugural Address was inspirational when discussing "that noble idea passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."  But, as the JPJ article highlights, the US now denies freedom through incarceration quite unequally.  Here is the start of the article's abstract:

Statistics indicate that racial/ethnic minorities, particularly black and Hispanic males, face a disproportionately high risk of incarceration in the United States.  We argue that this is the most serious issue facing contemporary criminal justice policymakers.  This determination is made by assessing the negative impact that incarceration can have on individuals, their communities, and the integration of minorities into the nation’s larger social, economic, and political landscape.

January 25, 2009 at 12:50 PM | Permalink


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