The US has the highest per capita prison rate and the highest prison population in the world. The US represents 5% of the world’s population but 25% of those incarcerated worldwide. Russia and Ukraine follow. These are meaningful figures in light of the protests asking for police reform. And what is even more meaningful are the facts of incarceration from the NAACP showing how incarceration disproportionately affects people of color. Here is a sample:
- African Americans are incarcerated at 5 times the rate of whites.
- African Americans and Hispanics which comprise 32% of the population comprise 56% of incarcerated people.
- If they were incarcerated at the same rate as whites prison population would decline by almost 40%.
- While African Americans and whites use drugs at about the same rates, imprisonment of African Americans for drug charges is about 6 times that of whites.
Those facts speak for systemic racism, they speak for an overhaul of not only our police but the entire criminal justice system.