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October 16, 2017

"Racial Disparity in U.S. Imprisonment Across States and over Time"

The title of this post is the title of this new empirical article now available via SSRN authored by Walter Enders, Paul Pecorino and Anne-Charlotte Souto.  Here is the abstract:

The overall incarceration rate in the United States is extremely high by international standards. Moreover, there are large racial disparities, with the black male rate of imprisonment being 5.5 times the white male rate in 2014.  This paper focus on how this black-white imprisonment ratio has behaved over time within and across states. We show that the large increase in black imprisonment between 1978 and 1999 was driven by increases in the overall rate of imprisonment, while the smaller decrease which occurred between 1999 and 2014 was driven by reductions in the black-white ratio.

For many states, the black-white ratio turned upward in the mid-1980s, where this upturn may have been linked to the crack epidemic.  Many states experienced a downturn in the black-white ratio starting in the 1990s.  Whatever its other effects, this suggests that the 1994 crime bill did not aggravate the preexisting racial disparity in imprisonment. California’s experience has been strongly counter to national trends with a large increase in the racial disparity beginning in the early 1990s and continuing until near the end of our sample.

October 16, 2017 at 11:40 PM | Permalink


CA is a different world •

Posted by: Docile the Kind Soul | Oct 17, 2017 1:52:38 AM

"Moreover, there are large gender disparities, with the male rate of imprisonment being 15.5 times the female rate in 2014."

This is clearly a result of sexual discrimination and needs to end. Until the prison male-to-female ratio is one-to-one, there is obviously unlawful discrimination going on.

Posted by: D'Amore is wrong, no biological differences between people | Oct 17, 2017 4:58:03 AM

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