I am in the midst of reading Dog Whistle Politics. I usually don’t write about a book until I’ve finished it. I’m making an exception because the statistics I’m going to state are so disturbing. If you want to know more I suggest The New Jim Crow, a must read, in addition to Dog Whistle Politics. What I quote is from pages 50 – 53 of Dog Whistle Politics.
- In 1970, about 200,000 people were serving at least one year behind bars, or one out of every 1,000 Americans.
- In 2014. about 2,319,258 people were being bars. This is more than one out of every 100 Americans.
- America’s incarceration rate in the highest in the world and exceeds the highest rate in the European democracies by 500 percent.
- The United States has 5 percent of the world’s populations but holds 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.
- This system of excessive incarceration is closely tied to race. In 2008, among white men aged 18 years or older, 1 in 106 were behind bars. The comparable number for Latino men was 1 in 36; for black men, it was 1 in 15. For black men between the ages of 20 and 34, a sickening 1 in 9 were locked up in 2008.
- As of 2008, more African-American men were imprisoned, on parole or probation than were enslaved in 1850.
- Poor youth of color . . . are less likely to commit crimes than poor white youth
- Young men of color are far, far more likely to be swept into the maw of the American crime control system, even when taking into account youth and poverty.