More black men in jail or college? An old “fact” revisited

We always hear about the disproportionate number of blacks in prison, but I’ve always wondered: how many are incarcerated and what does that really mean? What I didn’t realize is how difficult it is to pin down a precise number. I mean, true, it doesn’t take too much to find out that black men are incarcerated at a rate six and a half times higher than white men. That’s easily available through the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. But ever since the Justice Policy Institute released a report in 2002 stating that there were more black men in jail than college, people have just ran with the numbers. Continue reading