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The Marshall Project: The Growing Racial Disparity in Prison Time

Tuesday, December 3, 2019  
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The racial disparity between black and white people sent to state prisons is declining, and it has been for some time.

But criminal justice researchers say people of all races still aren’t treated equally when it comes to one important measure: time served behind bars. While arrest and prison admission rates are dropping for black people—in 2016, black people went to state prison at five times the rate of white people, down from eight times in 2000—they are spending longer in prison than their white peers. This trend, noted in a report published by the nonpartisan think tank the Council on Criminal Justice today, potentially offsets broader efforts to make the system more equitable, the researchers say. 

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