Wisconsin has a black jail rate that is the highest in the country and twice as high as the national average, according to a new report.
Last week, The Sentencing Project, a Washington, DC-based research organization that advocates for reduction of incarceration in the United States, released the report, which also revealed that one in 36 African-American adults in the state is currently in prison. By comparison, the study also says that nationwide, one in 81 black adults per capita is serving time. 100,000 in a state prison.
Despite the fact that blacks make up only 6 percent of the state’s population, they make up 42 percent of Wisconsin’s prison population and are incarcerated by 12 times the number of white people, the report finds.
In addition, Latino individuals are incarcerated with more than twice as many whites in Wisconsin, which is also more than the national average of 1.3 Latinos per white person.
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Clarence Nicholas, says the president of Milwaukee’s NAACP chapter, that the figures reflect centuries of systemic racism, which have created disadvantages in housing, education, employment and more. He also said he was “discouraged, but not surprised,” by the report’s findings, according to Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
“The statistics are not surprising, but they continue to be deeply worrying,” Adam Plotkina legislative liaison for the state public defense office, told the newspaper “We have known that Wisconsin has been a leader in racial differences within the criminal justice system for at least 20 years now.”
The report finds that twelve states have prison populations that are more than half black, including Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Read more about the statistics here.