In 16 States There More People In Prison Than In College Dorms, And Most Of Them Are Black

April 1, 2015  |  

In 16 states there are more people in prison than there are people in college dorms. This may sound like an outrageous claim, but according to a new report from MetricMaps this statistic is true. Most of the states are in the South and most of the incarcerated are Black, reports Black America Web.

In Alabama there are 647 per 100,000 residents in prison. In fact, Alabama is one of only five states with an incarceration rate higher than 600 inmates per 100,000 residents, reports AL.com.

Recently Roland Martin discussed this report with the NewsOne Now Straight Talk panel: Politic365.com’s managing editor Lauren Victoria Burke, leadership strategist Avis Jones-DeWeever, and Joe Jones, Founder and CEO of the Center for Urban Families.

“Let’s be frank about this, Black bodies are still a commodity in this country. It is a driving force for employment for a lot of people who are not qualified, quite frankly, to do anything else,” said Jones-DeWeever.

According to Martin, California spends $49,000 per year to house just one inmate in a state prison.

Jones drove home the point about prisons being run like a corporation when he added: “Privatizing prison management is big business. These private industries contract with governments, they put quotas in place in their contracts to say that the states have to maintain a certain level of occupied beds in order to fulfill those contracts. So if a state doesn’t have X number of inmates in a cell, the state then has to pay a fee to the contractor who is managing the prison.

“That is unconscionable and I don’t think most of us understand how the prison industry works.”

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