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For centuries, there have been countless stereotypes plaguing the Black community — from the way African Americans dress and speak.

Nearly everything about Black people draws an inaccurate conclusion from society. One consistent stereotype about African Americans is that the racial group is aggressive. However, the changing tides in prison population statistics suggest otherwise.

The Black prison population numbers are decreasing.

Non-profit organization The 19th News released a hard-hitting report on the ethnicities that make up jails in America, and the results were astounding.

Further, “From 2000 to 2021, the imprisonment rate fell by 70% for Black women and by 48% for Black men,” the outlet reported.

Since the statistic represents the entire prison population in the U.S. as opposed to one facility, many argue that the game-changing numbers should dissolve the stigma of Black people being criminals for good.

Black prison
Home for a community of 130 African refugees who live in a former prison called the ‘Vluchthaven’. February 17, 2014. Credit: Getty Images

The Black prison population is nowhere near what it used to be.

Moreover, in 2021, The Sentencing Project released a report that revealed over 10 states having African American-led jail populations. Why?

“Three recurrent explanations for racial disparities emerge from dozens of studies on the topic: a painful and enduring legacy of racial subordination, biased policies and practices that create or exacerbate disparities, and structural disadvantages that perpetuate disparities,” the report revealed.

Unfortunately, this highlights that skin color can have an unjustified effect on America’s legal system. Black people are constantly at risk of bias — from a negative influence with sentencing to not being granted bail. 

Black prison
Demonstrators carry aloft a symbolic coffin bearing the name of Kalief Browder as they march outside NYC’s City Hall. February 23, 2016. Credit: Getty Images

It Isn’t Over Yet

Even though the Black prison population numbers are decreasing, we should not shield our eyes from what is going on in prisons.

Unfortunately, there are still cases of African-American men who served time in prison and were wrongly convicted.

For example, in 2022, Charles Jackson served well over 20 years for a crime he did not commit.

27 years wrongfully imprisoned

Decades after being released for the misunderstanding, he has to navigate life all over again and will not get those precious years back.

“They don’t think they made mistakes. In my case, they made an obvious mistake. They still don’t believe that they did anything wrong,” Jackson vented to Cleveland19.

Jackson’s story is only the tip of the iceberg.

There is a racial bias that occurs in housing inmates. Inmates are often sent to facilities that have a reputation for not treating them with respect and protection.

Due to the blatant mistreatment taking place when processing cases, Blacks will continue to fight for justice.

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