Race in American Prisons

Race in American Prisons

It’s no surprise that when it comes to American prisons, there is a disproportionate amount of Hispanic or black inmates. 

Here are some interesting facts about race in American prisons: 

  • In 2011, 38% of prisoners in state and federal prisons were black.
  • Black males have a 32% chance of serving time in a state or federal prison at some point in their lifetime.
  • In 2011, the rate of incarceration for black women was 2.5 times higher than the rate for white women.
  • In 2011, 1 in every 13 black males aged 30 to 34 were in prison.
  • In 2011, 35% of prisoners in state and federal prisons were white.
  • White males have a 6 percent chance of serving time in a state or federal prison at some point in their lifetime.
  • In 2011, 1 in every 90 white males aged 30 to 34 were in prison.
  • In 2011, 21% of prisoners in state and federal prisons were Hispanic.
  • Hispanic males have a 17% chance of serving time in a state or federal prison at some point in their lifetime.
  • In 2011, the rate of incarceration for Hispanic women was 1.4 times higher than the rate for white women.
  • In 2011, 1 in every 36 Hispanic males aged 30 to 34 were in prison.

Data for this page is provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice StatisticsThe Sentencing Project and The Council of State Governments.

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