Thursday, July 01, 2010



The disparate incarceration of Latinos and African Americans in the Lone Star State

A policy brief by The Justice Policy Institute"

"Any discussion about the impact of incarceration in this country must acknowledge that the
policies that have led the United States to have the world’s largest jail and prison population
(2.1 million) and highest incarceration rate (714 per 100,000) have had a disproportionate
impact on African Americans, Latinos and other communities defined as non-White1. According to the
Justice Department report Prisoners in 2003, in 2003 African American, men across the nation were
incarcerated seven times the rate of Whites while Latinos were incarcerated at 2.6 times the rate of
Whites. African Americans and Latinos comprised 68% of all people in prison and jail in 2003, even
though African Americans and Latinos make up 25% of the US population.2...

Latinos endure higher rates of incarceration. Latinos are almost twice as likely as Whites to be
incarcerated. In 2000, the incarceration rate per 100,000 residents for Latinos in Texas was 1,152
compared to 694 for Whites. Latino women were incarcerated (243 per 100,000 residents) at a higher
rate than White women (195 per 100,000 residents) were.
Latinos Less Likely to Be Jailed than Imprisoned. NCLR found a larger share of Latinos are
incarcerated are in state prisons versus state jails, where sentences tend to be shorter, and are
institutions more geared to treatment than punishment. Incarcerated Latino’s are more likely than
either African Americans or Whites to be a larger proportion of people in longer-sentence institutions
(prisons) than in shorter-sentence institutions (jails) .In Fiscal year 2002, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Reported that Latinos, African Americans and Latinos composed about 70% of the total inmates admitted to Texas prisons. While 4 in 10 Texans are African American or Latino, 7 in 10 Texas prisoners are African American or Latino....

African Americans are incarcerated at 5 times the rate of Whites in Texas (3,734 per 100,000,
compared to 694 per 100,000 Whites) 7 There are more African American men of all ages in prison in Texas (66,300) than in the higher education system (40,800) 8 A national report published by JPI in August 2003 showed that nearly twice as many African Americans men in their earlier 30s have prison records (22%) than Bachelors degrees (12%).9 ...

Race and Imprisonment in Texas (2005) is the third in a series of policy briefs from the Justice Policy
Institute which has sought to localize the racially and ethnically disparate impact of incarceration.
Race and Incarceration in Maryland (2004), Cost and Benefits: The Impact of Drug Imprisonment in
New Jersey (2004), and this brief were produced using data from the National Corrections Reporting
Program, from the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. The NCRP data was analyzed and
developed by Barry Holman and Phillip Beatty, JPI research consultants.
Sections of this report on Latinos are taken in entirety from Latinos and the Texas Criminal Justice
System, published by the National Council of La Raza. Sections of this report on the economic impact
of incarceration in Texas are from Racial Disparities in the Texas Criminal Justice System, published
by the Steward Research Group, and commissioned by the NAACP Texas State Conference and the
NAACP National Voter Fund. Funding for this policy brief comes from the Tides Foundation Drug
Policy Reform Fund, the Open Society Institute, and the Butler Family Fund. The full report is
available at

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