A new study by a UC-Berkeley graduate student has surprised a number of experts in the criminology field. Its main finding: Private prisons are packed with young people of color.
The concept of racial disparities behind bars is not exactly a new one. Study after report after working group has found a version of the same conclusion. The Sentencing Project estimates 1 in 3 black men will spend time behind bars during their lifetime, compared with 1 in 6 Latino men and 1 in 17 white men. Arrest rates for marijuana possession are four times as high for black Americans as for white. Black men spend an average of 20 percent longer behind bars in federal prisons than their white peers for the same crimes.
These reports and thousands of others have the cumulative effect of portraying a criminal justice system that disproportionately incarcerates black Americans and people of color in general.
An inmate walks through the yard at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, which recently switched to private management.
Full Article: Prisons for Profit