Rhode Island School-To-Prison Pipeline: Disproportionate Prison Representation

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The School-To-Prison Pipeline: Disproportionate Prison Representation

The end result of all these disparities is the one that stems naturally from a racial disparity in arrest rates – the racial disparity in prison rates. Although just six percent of Rhode Island’s population in 2010 was black, a whopping 30 percent of the incarcerated population was black.18

The consequences of incarceration are well documented, not just for the individuals during their incarceration and afterward, but also for the deleterious effects felt by their families. The stigma surrounding criminal records means formerly- incarcerated individuals are less likely to be employed after incarceration. Although “Ban the Box” has provided some relief by prohibiting some ex-offenders from being immediately disqualified from job consideration, that law is undermined by increasingly strict laws disqualifying applicants based on criminal background checks. Individuals with criminal histories can also be disqualified from obtaining housing or other government assistance, having a further impact on their families. The myriad consequences that follow incarceration are disproportionately borne by the black community, capping off a lifetime of increased scrutiny and disparate treatment.

Previously: Disproportionate Arrest Rates                                                     Next: What's Next?
18Prison Policy Initiative. “Rhode Island profile.” Accessed January 14, 2015. http://www.prisonpolicy.org/profiles/RI.html
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