We always hear about the disproportionate number of blacks in prison, but I’ve always wondered: how many areincarcerated and what does that really mean? What I didn’t realize ishow difficult it is to pin down a precise number. I mean, true, itdoesn’t take too much to find out that black men are incarcerated at arate six and a half times higher than white men. That’s easilyavailable through the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. But ever since the Justice Policy Institute released a report in 2002 stating that there were more black men in jail than college, people have just ran with the numbers. Even President Obamadid it. That study, however, quoted figures from 10 years ago and,surprisingly, the number of blacks in prison has actually declined. AndI haven’t been able to find anything recent that concretely dispels themyth, only skeptics that point to the fact that the saying is a myth. So I decided to do my own update to see if the old saying is still true.
There you have it.