Aug 25, 2010

Talk of the Nation Addresses "The Epidemic" of Disproportionate Incarceration of African Americans in the U.S.

Why do black individuals make up only 12% of the U.S. population but about 44% of U.S. prisons?  Why, in the U.S, are 1 in 15 adult black men (and 1 in nine young black men between the ages of 20 and 34 )in prison? Why is it that in New York City blacks get arrested seven times more than whites even though white individuals use marijuana more frequently than black individuals? Why during "stop and frisks" in New York City did police officers stop a record 575,000 people last year of which nearly 90 percent Black or Hispanic? How do the penalties of a criminal record impact families long after a person is released from prison?

These are the few of the topics the guests on NPR's Talk of the Nation's August 23rd segment "Black Men's Jail Time Hits Entire Communities," addressed in their discussion of the inequities of the criminal justice system and the long term  impact that  disproportionate arrests and incarceration has on black individuals and our communities. Listen to it, or read the transcript, here.

Guests include: 
Charlayne Hunter-Gault, correspondent, NPR
Charles Blow, columnist, New York Times
Dwayne Betts, spokesperson, Campaign For Youth Justice
Michelle Alexander, author, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness