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Both Sides of the Bars | The Color of Justice: Racial & Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons

ProducerKhalil Cumberbatch
DescriptionGoing to prison is a major life-altering event that creates obstacles to building stable lives in the community, such as gaining employment and finding safe housing after release. Imprisonment also reduces lifetime earnings and negatively affects life outcomes among children of incarcerated parents. These are individual-level consequences but there are also societal-level consequences: high levels of imprisonment in communities cause high crime rates and neighborhood deterioration thus fueling greater disparities. According to a recent report by The Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy center "dedicated to changing the way Americans think about crime and punishment," this cycle is felt disproportionately by people who are Black. "It is clear," says the report, "that the outcome of mass incarceration today has not occurred by happenstance but has been designed through policies created by a dominant white culture that insists on the suppression of others." This episode’s guest is the author of that report, Ashley Nellis, Ph.D. Ashley's background is in analyzing criminal-justice policies and practices, racial disparities, youth justice, and long-term imprisonment. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and on National Public Radio.
DateDecember 20, 2022