Racial Inequality in the Criminal Justice System

Fewer than 1 out of 100 Americans are imprisoned in the United States. But nearly one fourth of young black men are incarcerated in U.S. state and federal prisons. In fact, a young black man is more likely to be in jail than to get married or go to college.

Minorities are grossly overrepresented in U.S. prisons, and Prof. Daniel D’Amico argues that the root of the problem may lie with the criminal justice system itself. Laws about drug prohibition, for example, are supposed to be color blind. But people with different levels of wealth face different costs and benefits to participating in the drug trade. Prof. D’Amico says it’s time to admit that radical changes to the criminal justice system might be necessary and preferable to the status quo.

Learn More!

A series of charts about the implications of racial inequality in America’s justice system:http://www.econ.brown.edu/fac/Glenn_L…

Political cartoon comparing slavery to the prison industrial complex:http://sfbayview.com/wp-content/uploa…

Econtalk podcast episode about how the racial disparity we see in prison statistics might be even worse than D’Amico suggests:http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2012…

Huffington Post piece on “the racism and hypocrisy in our nation’s war on drugs”: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-boyc…

Sir Richard Branson argues that the War on Drugs “represents racial discrimination and targeting disguised as drug policy”:http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/06/opinion…

A social justice perspective on the racist character of the war on drugs: http://urbanhabitat.org/20years/alexa…