Black History Month reminds all Americans that our criminal justice system needs reform. Let’s look at three charts that illustrate this need and the disproportional impact of the justice system on the black people of America.
The first chart illustrates that the US has more people incarcerated than any other country in the world. In fact, 20% of the world’s people in jails or prisons are in the US jails.
The 2021 U.S. incarceration rate is also the highest in the world standing at 664 per 100,000 persons across the whole population. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have incarceration rates of 1,094 and 1,091 and 993 persons per 100,000 people respectively. They are the incarceration capitals of the world.
The second chart shows that the incarceration rate for blacks and Indian/Natives far exceed the rate for whites per 100,000 persons. Black people who commit crimes are three times more likely to go to jail than white people. Only Hispanic and Asian people are less likely to go to jail.
And the third chart demonstrates that more people are incarcerated while waiting for trial than ever before.
In summary, the US has more people in jail or prison than any other country on earth and the black people of America are incarcerated at a higher rate than the White, Asian, Indian, and Hispanic people of America. The trend toward incarcerations before a trial has doubled in less than a generation.
“Lock ‘em up” cannot be the rallying cry for any political party in America. And, as evidenced by the data, this political position has been unsuccessful since its inception. It’s time for reform and a time for a thoughtful and deliberate approach to incarceration.
Clearly, there is a need for reform and the Reform Party is ready to resolve a troubling system at all levels of the political landscape: local, state, and federal.
The Reform Party position on Criminal Justice Reform is clear:
“The Reform Party will enact sweeping changes to policing policies, the national court systems, the penal system, and community-based programs to bring justice back to the law, instead of favoring those in positions of power or the criminal element.”
Source: The Prison Policy Initiative