Did You Know That Poor White Children Are Less Likely To Go To Jail Than Wealthy Black Children?
“Race trumps class, at least when it comes to incarceration,” Darrick Hamilton, one of the researchers who produced the study, told the Washington Post. It was found that only the wealthiest Black youth – those whose household annual income in 1985 exceeded $69,000 in 2012 dollars – had a slightly better chance of avoiding prison than the poorest white youth. The incarceration rate for this group was found to be 2.4 percent – a negligible .3 percent difference from their white, poor counterparts.
Co-author of the study William Darity of Duke University told eji.org that the findings, “demonstrate that wealth does not provide the same degree of insulation from imprisonment for black and Hispanic males as it does for white males.” Though it was found that Hispanics who were less affluent thirty-two years ago were also more likely to be incarcerated than their white peers in the same economic bracket, they were still less likely to end up in prison than their Black counterparts.
Among other disparities quantified by this study, it was also found that Black Americans were far less likely to accumulate wealth than their white counterparts. In 2012, for those Black U.S. citizens who had not been incarcerated, their median household income was $16,200 compared to $192,000 for whites in the same category – which means that even though a young Black person may exemplify a non-existent criminal record, they still only earned, on average, a meager 8 percent of the income of their white counterparts.
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