June 4, 2019
America’s criminal justice system doesn’t really seem all that interested in justice. Although, by practically criminalizing being poor or being a person of color, it definitely has the criminal part covered. We think that every American deserves justice, regardless of their skin color or the amount of money in their bank account, don’t you?
The criminal justice system needs to be reformed now, and these nine charts prove it.
And it disproportionately impacts communities of color
There is racial bias built right into the justice system. Black people are imprisoned more often than white people and receive longer sentences than white people, even for the same offenses.
And it never lets up — Black men, in particular, are unfairly targeted
Black men make up only about 13% of the US population, but they represent 35% of the US prison population.
Just take a look at the racial disparities in drug arrests
Black people and white people use and sell drugs at similar rates, but Black people are almost three times more likely to be arrested for drug-related offenses.
Prosecutors have played a huge role in all of this
Believe it or not, in America you can even get locked up if you’re legally innocent
You or someone you know probably has a family member who’s been in prison
Half of Americans have family members who’ve been incarcerated. 6.5 million Americans have an immediate family member in jail or prison right now. Again, communities of color are hit hardest: Black people are 50% more likely than whites to have an incarcerated family member.
And despite what some politicians might want us to believe, none of this has made us safer
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