As I was reading Dead Man Walking by Helen Prejean, I wondered about what amount of African Americans were imprisoned versus Whites. Sister Prejean discusses the harsh treatment of the prisoners and the state of the prisons.
She also discusses how common it is for African American men to get harsh sentences and are not properly defended in court. I was quite surprised and honestly mortified at what Prejean wrote about with what the incarcerated went through and their living conditions in the book.
Granted the book was published in the early 1990’s. I was curious what the statistics were in today’s world. According to naacp.org “African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the 2.3 million incarcerated population.” This website also reported that African Americans are incarcerated at about six times the rate of whites.
There could be many reasons for why this is happening. African Americans could just not have the resources and access to a bright future. They could receive racism and could be penalized a lot harder just for their skin color. They could live in an urban struggling town.
No matter the reasons, it should be stopped. On americanprogress.org they report that people of color make up only 30% of the U.S. population and 60% of them are imprisoned. A number of people imprisoned has also gone up.