NAACP Calls For Racial Impact Studies To Combat Overwhelming Presence Of Minorities In Maryland's Prison System

Kweisi Mfume, President and CEO, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), called today for racial/ethnic impact studies to document the overrepresentation of African Americans and Hispanics in Maryland prisons. Mfume's comments are based on a report released today by the Justice Policy Institute titled, Race and Incarceration in Maryland.

The study cites African Americans comprise 28% of the general population, but total 76% of the prison population. African American men in Maryland are imprisoned at nearly eight times the rate of white men. As for drug offenses, whites and African Americans use drugs at similar rates, but Blacks represent 68% of those arrested, and 90% of those incarcerated.

Mfume said: "The most aggravating aspect of this report is that current Maryland laws imprison non-violent and drug offenders more for their emotional and physical dependence than for actual participation in criminal activities. Maryland ranks third, behind New Jersey and New York, with the highest proportion of prison admissions made up of drug offenders in the country. It is incumbent upon the state to make swift changes in the system."

The report recommends updating parole practices to include increased access to treatment and its duration, return sentencing discretion to judges by abolishing mandatory sentences, create "racial and ethnic impact statements" that would require lawmakers to mandate a quantitative analysis of the affects the new laws have on people of color and society at large.

Andrea Brown, Director, NAACP Prison Project, said: "In many ways the report calls for a new order of

Enviroshop is maintained by dedicated NetSys Interactive Inc. owners & employees who generously contribute their time to maintenance & editing, web design, custom programming, & website hosting for Enviroshop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

two × five =