The Huffington Post:
Everyone has heard the statistics on the incarceration of black Americans, but they bear repeating. Blacks make up nearly 40 percent of the inmates in the nation’s prisons, although they are only 12 percent of the U.S. population. Some experts estimate that one in every four black men will spend some time behind bars during his lifetime. There is no explanation for this disparity that is okay.
There are many theories about these shameful numbers, and punitive criminal justice policies certainly contribute. About half the states have some kind of habitual offender law that mandates harsh sentences for repeat offenders. In California, where blacks make up less than 7 percent of the population and a quarter of the prison population, they make up a whopping 45 percent of those imprisoned under the state’s Three Strikes Law.
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