Young, Black women are currently the fastest growing prison population nationwide–despite the fact that crime numbers for the group have not risen.
According to the Atlanta Post, during a recent conference at UC-Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law:
Nikki Jones, a sociologist from UC Santa Barbara and Meda Chesney Lind, University of Hawaii, and attendee of the conference, has studied the statistics of imprisoned black girls for over 10 years and explained, “we have never seen these kind of numbers before.”
At Ethnoblog, Rachel Pfeffer contends that young, Black women do not commit crimes at higher rates than White women, but their arrest rates are higher:
“I’ve been studying this for decades,” said Chesney-Lind. She added, “We have never seen these kind of numbers before. National policies like zero tolerance are responsible for the school to prison pipeline. And a dual justice system that treats white girls differently from black girls is disproportionately impacting African American girls.”
She continued, “In 2008, we knew the arrest rate in California was 49 out of every 1,000 for black girls, 8.9 per 1,000 for white girls and 14.9 per 1,000 for Latinas.”