What is going on in Wisconsin?
by Gene Demby
A new study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that looked at the prison population there found that the state has the highest percentage of incarcerated black men in the country. About 1 in 8 black men of working age (13 percent) are in state prisons or jails. The national average is 6.7 percent.
According to census figures, African-Americans make up 6.5 percent of the state’s population.
Wisconsin also leads the nation in the percentage of Native men behind bars; 1 in 13 Indian men are incarcerated there.
Wisconsin, though? Really?
Rates Of Black Male Incarceration By State, 2012
Source: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
And Wisconsin’s lead on this count is pretty big: It beats the state with the next-highest rate of imprisoned black men by nearly 3 percentage points — a gap bigger than the total distance between the second- and 10th-place states.
A big chunk of the state’s black male prison population comes from Milwaukee, Wisconsin‘s biggest city. According to the researchers, more than half of all black men in their 30s and 40s had been incarcerated at some point. That means there’s a large population of men in the state’s biggest city who are essentially unemployable, which puts a huge drag on the economy — and a big reason Milwaukee is . (Milwaukee’s metro area also boasts one of the biggest gaps in incomes between blacks and whites.)
And Milwaukee’s poor felons are concentrated in the same neighborhoods: The study also found that almost two-thirds of Milwaukee County’s incarcerated black men come from the city’s six poorest ZIP codes.
Continue Reading @ NPR
- Mass Incarceration and the New Jim Crow (prisonreformmovement.wordpress.com)
- Race And America’s Prisons: It’s Complicated : Code Switch : NPR (aboriginalpress.wordpress.com)