The Washington Post: The criminal-justice debate needs to catch up with this encouraging trend
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
African Americans and Latinos are substantially overrepresented among the U.S. prison population, an undeniable legacy of systemic discrimination, historical and contemporary.
These disparities are a major topic in the 2020 presidential campaign, as they should be. “Our criminal justice system cannot be just unless we root out the racial, gender, and income-based disparities in the system,” former vice president Joe Biden’s official campaign website declares, correctly.
What’s also true, though, is that racial and ethnic disparities in incarceration rates are smaller than they were in the recent past, and significantly so. They have, in fact, been decreasing since the 21st century began. The criminal-justice debate needs to catch up with this encouraging trend.