(BIN) -- The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, dwarfing the rate of nearly every other nation. One in every three black males born today can expect to go to prison at some point in their life, compared with one in every six Latino males, and one in every seventeen white males, if current incarceration trends continue.These are among a stack of facts cited by The Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates for prison reform, in a report on the staggering racial disparities that permeate the American criminal justice system.
The report was submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Committee this week in advance of the U.N.’s review of American compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights later this month. It argues that racial disparity pervades “every stage of the United States criminal justice system, from arrest to trial to sentencing.
“Racial minorities are more likely than white Americans to be arrested,” the report explains. “Once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to face stiff sentences.”
Roughly 12% of the United States population is black. Yet in 2011, black Americans constituted 30% of persons arrested for a property offense and 38% of persons arrested for a violent offense. 7 Black youths account for 16% of all children in America yet make up 28% of juvenile arrests.
The report concludes that the U. S. has employed mass incarceration as a convenient answer to inconvenient questions for decades.
In doing so, the U.S. government has glossed over the glaring racial inequalities that permeate every aspect of its criminal
justice system. The government has both fostered and perpetuated those inequalities in clear violation of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as other international agreements. The overall report is worth reading even if you disagree with the group’s conclusion and findings. Click here to download the report.