Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration by Race and Ethnicity is a new report by The Sentencing Project that examines the racial and ethnic dynamics of incarceration in the U.S. with tables by state and by race. The report notes that African Americans are incarcerated at nearly 6 times the rate of whites and Hispanics are incarcerated at nearly double the rate of whites. One in nine (11.7%) African American males between the ages of 25 and 29 is currently incarcerated in a prison or jail.

The report extends the findings of previous analyses by incorporating jail populations in the overall incarceration rate and by assessing the impact of incarceration on the Hispanic community, representing an increasing share of the prison population. The report notes: “In 2005, Hispanics comprised 20% of the state and federal prison population, a rise of 43% since 1990. As a result of these trends, one of every six Hispanic males and one of every 45 Hispanic females born today can expect to go to prison in his or her lifetime. These rates are more than double those for non-Hispanic whites.”

“Racial disparities in incarceration reflect a failure of social and economic interventions to address crime effectively and also indicate racial bias in the justice system,” stated Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project. “The broad variation in the use of incarceration nationally suggests that policy decisions can play a key role in determining the size and composition of the prison population.”

(“Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration By Race and Ethnicity,” The Sentencing Project, July 2007). Read the report. See Studies and Race.