A new Sentencing Project report shows that the incarceration rate of black women has dropped over the period of 2000 -2009.
Highlights taken from the report include the following:
In 2000, African American women were incarcerated at six times the rate of white women, by 2009 that disparity had dropped by half, to less than three times the white rate.
During this period the black women’s rate of incarceration declined by 30.7%, while the rate for white women increased by 47.1% and for Latinas by 23.3%. (These figures represent national trends, and are likely to vary considerably by state, depending on such factors as crime rates, sentencing policy, and socioeconomics.)
The changes are attributed to:
Declining arrest rates for African American women, along with sharp reductions in incarceration for drug offenses in certain states.
Rising rates of imprisonment for white women for property crimes in particular, as well as for violent and drug offenses.
The cumulative social disadvantages that correlate with greater involvement in substance abuse and crime are increasingly affecting less educated white women.