A Criminal State of Affairs
In 2002, the three states with the highest rates of incarceration were Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Texas ranks No. 3 in spending on prisons, while it ranked 20th for education spending. It ranks No. 1 in putting citizens to death. Texas has an African-American population of 11 percent, and an African-American prison population of 44 percent.
In Louisiana, African Americans comprise 33 percent of the general population, and 76 percent of the prison population.
In Mississippi, African Americans constitute 36 percent of the general population and 75 percent of the prison population.
In Illinois, African Americans make up 15.1 percent of the general population and 65 percent of the prison population.
California is rated third among the states for incarcerating drug offenders and 45th among the states in spending on education.
In addition, it has an African-American population of 7 percent and an African-American prison population of 32 percent.
In the state of Washington, African Americans make up less than 4 percent of the state’s population but make up almost 40 percent of the state’s prison population.
Thirty to 40 percent of the next generation of African-American males will permanently lose the right to vote if current trends continue. In seven states, one in four African-American males can never vote again because they were convicted of a felony. The seven states that deny the right to vote to all ex-offenders are: Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska and Virginia.
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