|Mr. John Bennie Williams, 83 (second from left), is legally blind, has been in prison 40 years, and has been turned down for parole or geriatric release over 20 times|
• African Americans are incarcerated in state prisons at a rate
that is 5.1 times the imprisonment of whites. In five states
(Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, Vermont, and Wisconsin),
the disparity is more than 10 to 1.
• In twelve states, more than half of the prison population
is black: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana,
Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina,
South Carolina, and Virginia. Maryland, whose prison
population is 72% African American, tops the nation.
• In eleven states, at least 1 in 20 adult black males is in prison.
• In Oklahoma, the state with the highest overall black
incarceration rate, 1 in 15 black males ages 18 and older is
• States exhibit substantial variation in the range of racial
disparity, from a black/white ratio of 12.2:1 in New Jersey
to 2.4:1 in Hawaii.
Data courtesy of http://www.sentencingproject.