February 23, 2005

Thinking About Imprisonment

Does Discrimination Cause Imprisonment Difference? One of my most distinguished readers writes:

There have been several studies to test the proposition that the high percentage of blacks in prison is produced by the police over-arresting, or prosecutors over-prosecuting, blacks. This theory is not true, as we can discover by using the National Crime Victimization Survey, which asks victims for the race of their offender in robbery and assault cases. The percentage of blacks involved in these crimes, according to the victims, matches almost exactly the percentage of blacks in prison for those crimes. These studies have been done by, among others, Alfred Blumstein at Carnegie Mellon University.

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