Press release Executive Summary On the surface, crime and punishment appear to be unsophisticated matters. But dig deeper and it is clear that crime and punishment are multidimensional problems that stem from racial prejudice justified by age-old perceptions and beliefs about African Americans. The United States has a dual criminal justice system that has helped to maintain the economic and social hierarchy in America, based on the subjugation of blacks, within the United States. Public policy, criminal justice actors, society and the media, and criminal behavior have all played roles in creating what sociologist Loic Wacquant calls the hyperincarceration of black men.
Rising against this tragedy, the Civil Rights Act of outlawing housing discrimination was signed into law. Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in a black power salute as they received their medals at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
Arthur Ashe became the first African American to win the U.
Open singles title, and Shirley Chisholm became the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives. The same year, the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, better known as the Kerner Commission, delivered a report to President Johnson examining the causes of civil unrest in African American communities.
Where do we stand as a society today? In this brief report, we compare the state of black workers and their families in with the circumstances of their descendants today, 50 years after the Kerner report was released.
We find both good news and bad news. While African Americans are in many ways better off in absolute terms than they were inthey are still disadvantaged in important ways relative to whites. In several important respects, African Americans have actually lost ground relative to whites, and, in a few cases, even relative to African Americans in Following are some of the key findings: African Americans today are much better educated than they were in but still lag behind whites in overall educational attainment.
They are also more than twice as likely to have a college degree as in but are still half as likely as young whites to have a college degree. The substantial progress in educational attainment of African Americans has been accompanied by significant absolute improvements in wages, incomes, wealth, and health since But black workers still make only With respect to homeownership, unemployment, and incarceration, America has failed to deliver any progress for African Americans over the last five decades.
In these areas, their situation has either failed to improve relative to whites or has worsened. In the black unemployment rate was 7. Inthe black homeownership rate was just over 40 percent, virtually unchanged sinceand trailing a full 30 points behind the white homeownership rate, which saw modest gains over the same period.
And the share of African Americans in prison or jail almost tripled between and and is currently more than six times the white incarceration rate.
Educational attainment The most important development since is that African Americans today are much better educated than they were in These absolute improvements in educational attainment—including substantial increases in both high school and college completion rates—have opened important doors for black workers compared with their counterparts 50 years ago.
In relative terms, African Americans today are almost as likely as whites to have completed high school. But even though the share of younger African Americans with a college degree has more than doubled, African Americans today are still only about half as likely to have a college degree as whites of the same age.
High school graduation rates. Over the last five decades, African Americans have seen substantial gains in high school completion rates. Injust over half Today, more than nine out of 10 African Americans See Table 1 for all data presented in this report.
The large increase in high school completion rates helped to close the gap relative to whites.African American Males and the Incarceration Problem Not Just Confined to Prison • Examine the impact of incarceration on African American family life and incarcerated (see Figure ).
In , more than million7 Americans (or % of the U.S. population) were incarcerated, in nearly 1, state, federal, and private prisons. The disproportionate rates of HIV infection among African Americans are perplexing. In , about 44% of new HIV infections and 48% of AIDS diagnoses in the USA were among African Americans, although they represent just 12% of the overall population.
Scholar Pettit and Western's research has shown how incarceration rates for African Americans are "about eight times higher than those for whites", and prison inmates have less than "12 years of completed schooling" on average.
fe male incarceration are fa r lower, "African-American women are the fa stest growing segment of the prison population."l5 This astounding rate of imprisonment fo r African Americans, moreover, departs drastically from the.
This issue brief presents a new CAP analysis and summarizes existing research to detail the effects of mass incarceration on black women and children.
In particular, it high-. The figure reports incarceration separately for whites, Latinos, and African Americans and separately for three levels of education.
Looking at men with a college education, we see that incarceration rates today have barely increased since