By: Antonio Morre –

When President Barack Obama said that “more young Black men languish in prison than attend colleges and universities in America,” at the NAACP Democratic Candidate Forum several years ago, that information moved many listeners emotionally. Studies have since debunked that statistic, but this in no way means that the number of Black men who are incarcerated is not staggering.

According to U. S. Census estimates, there are around 18,508,926 Black males in the United States. According to The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Prisoner Statistics Program in 2013, out of that population—which includes both children and elderly males—an astonishing 745,000 are incarcerated, either in federal or local jails.

But even more astonishing is how the United States ranks against other nations. India, for example, boasts a population of 1.2 billion people—around four times that of the United States—and has only about 380,000 inmates in all its jails. To take it further, there are more Black men incarcerated in the United States today than the total prison populations of India, Argentina, Canada, Israel Lebanon, Finland, Germany, France and England combined.

Political motivations may have a hand in this, according to Nicole Porter’s article, “Politics of Black Lives Matter.”

Between 1965 and 1990, a period during which overall and violent crime rates tripled in Germany, Finland, and the United States, German politicians chose to hold the imprisonment rate flat, Finnish politicians chose to substantially reduce theirs, and American politicians generally enacted policies that sent more people to prison, along with lengthened prison terms.

Curated from –

Michael Bailey
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