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February 26, 2018

"Divided Justice: Trends in Black and White Jail Incarceration 1990-2013"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new report released today by the Vera Institute of Justice.  This Vera webpage provides this overview and a key takeway:


Recent data analyses on jail incarceration — taken from Vera’s Incarceration Trends tool — reveal that although significant racial disparities still exist between black and white jail incarceration rates, incarceration rates for black people are declining, while rates for white people are rising.  This report dives into the data on black and white incarceration trends from 1990 to 2013, and poses several questions for further exploration that might explain why these rates are shifting.  However, the report also argues that we need more data to fully understand the causes and consequences of racial disparities in incarceration — and to begin enacting more race-conscious jail reduction efforts.

Key Takeaway

While black incarceration rates have declined — and white incarceration rates have risen — over the past several decades, the lack of complete and accurate data prevents effective analyses of the causes and drivers of these trends and on racial disparities more broadly in the justice system.

February 26, 2018 at 10:33 AM | Permalink


These trends imply deterrence of the police from protecting black crime victims, due to the Ferguson Effect.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 26, 2018 11:09:28 AM

David, the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson took place in Aug 2014. The Vera report covers "data on black and white incarceration trends from 1990 to 2013." Hard to see how the "Ferguson Effect" impacted data from before events in Ferguson.

I am thankful for any efforts by you, David, to try to keep your standard points/rants on-topic and focused, but try also to make them factually plausible.

Posted by: Doug B | Feb 26, 2018 11:37:14 AM

Doug. The book, The New Jim Crow, summarized the lawyer arguments to loose the black criminal. It reflected an established movement in the profession. It came out in 2010, depicting a decade of lawyer profession effort. I count you among those favoring decarceration.

This movement, not just the book, resulted in a 3% decarceration rate. A surge in murders in 10 big cities followed. After Baltimore was Fergusoned by Rod Rosenstein, Harvard Law School radicalized lawyer, a surge surged on top of the decarceration surge in Baltimore. Your profession wants black young people dead in the worst way.

I think the effects would be even greater in any follow up study to 2017. But you may keep parsing, as people are mowed down.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 26, 2018 4:20:52 PM

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