Sunday, October 12, 2014
From 1985 to 1997, the U.S. prison population more than doubled from 502,376 to 1,240,962 with non-whites accounting for 70% of this growth in state and federal prisons
The number of blacks and Hispanics behind bars grew 180% from 1985 to 1997 compared with only 102% for whites. Hispanics have a 3.7-times-higher rate of imprisonment than whites while blacks are imprisoned 9.1 times more than whites. Nationwide in 1997, whites comprised 34.8% of prisoners, African-Americans 46.9%, Hispanics 16% and others 2.3%. Overall, 2.6% of the African-American adult population was imprisoned in 1997, compared to 1.1% of Hispanics and 0.3% of whites. In Washington D.C., a black person is 56 times more likely than a white person to be in prison. The next-largest racial disparities were found in Minnesota (a 31-times higher rate of blacks being in prison) and Wisconsin (22 times higher), followed by New Jersey, Iowa, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Illinois.