Real Statistics: More Black people in Jail or College?
April 2, 2013 — 11:48am
In the documentary "Hoodwinked" Documentarian Janks Morton maintains that there are more Black men in postsecondary institutions than who are incarcerated.
Specifically, according to figures Morton said he retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice, the number of Black men in college is more than 1.4 million versus the 824,340 who were incarcerated. http://diverseeducation.com/article/48497/# While this is true, the numbers are misleading. Here's the reality:
Lauren E. Glaze, a Statistician from The US Dept. of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported: "Correctional authorities supervised 7,225,800 offenders at yearend 2009 ... The majority (70%) of offenders under correctional supervision at yearend 2009 were supervised in the community (5,018,900) either on probation or parole, remaining relatively unchanged since 2000 (71%)." http://bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cpus09.pdf
Additionally BJS reports: Estimated number of inmates held in state or federal prisons, or in local jails, by gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age, June 30, 2008 shows Black Males at 846,000 and Black Females at 67,800. The total population was approx 2,311,200. This translates to Black people making up 39.5%. If this translates to the total population of offenders under correctional supervision for 2009 then Black people made up 39.5% of that 7,225,800 or 2,854,191 people (The detailed race and Hispanic origin categories exclude estimates of persons identifying two or more races) http://bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/pim08st.pdf
With all that being said; in 2008-09 Black people in America had approximately 2.9million in post-secondary education and approximately 2.85million under correctional supervision making up 39.5% of the population under correctional supervision and 14.29% of the population enrolled in post-secondary education (surprisingly a close representation of the actual US population).
So, are there more Black peolpe in in college than prison? Sadly, not by much even though the general college population sits at over 20million and the population of those under correctional supervision is just over 7million.
Ernest Comer III is a community relations professional with several years of experience working with non-profit organizations. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in Communication Studies with an emphasis in African and African American Studies. Ernest is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated and has held positions of leadership in organizations such as PRISM at the University of Minnesota, and emerging non-profit in Ramsey County, Re-Armor Homes. He has been an adolescent mentor in the Pediatrics Department at the U and has hosted local television and radio shows showcasing young talent.
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