Report: The Number Of Black Americans in Prison Has Dropped, But Problems Persist

A new report from the Sentencing Project found that the imprisonment rate for Black men has been nearly cut in half since 2000, reports Jessica Washington for The Root. The number of incarcerated Black Americans decreased by 39 percent since its peak in 2002, with the imprisonment rate for Black women falling by 70 percent between 2000 and 2021. One in five Black men born in 2001 is likely to experience imprisonment within their lifetime, a decline from one in three for those born in 1981. Since 2009, the overall prison population has declined by 25 percent. However, despite this apparent progress, the American prison population in 2021 was still six times as large as it was 50 years ago. The report also warns that the ongoing wave of anti-reform efforts threatens the hard-won gains from the last twenty years.

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