Why The Incarceration Rate So High For Young Black Males?

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America has the largest justice system in the world. America also has the highest incarceration rate with over 2 million people in prison. African Americans account for approximately 40 percent of those inmates. Why is the incarceration rate so high for young black males? By examining the data and demographics, and the causes and consequences a greater understanding will be gained as to why these disparities exist.

As of December 2013, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the number of incarcerated males age 20-24 was 39,000 white males, 40,100 Hispanic males, and 68,400 black males (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2013). This paper will focus on why such racial disparities exist in the U.S. prison population. Research on prison sentencing can identify if there is discrimination in sentencing and imprisonment; however it is geographically limited to studying “hot spots”. Also the methodology and factors considered may be different.
There are many causes that contribute to racial disparities in prison. Poverty is major factor. In 2002 African Americans experienced a poverty rate of 24.1 percent. For African American children under the age of 18 it was 30 percent in 2001, in contrast to a 10 percent rate for whites. Also, disparities in income levels exist between African American and white adults. The median earnings for African Americans in 2001 were 64 percent of that of comparable non-Hispanic whites (Mink and O’Conner, 2004).
Another is the differential
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