Crime & Prison
Within the United States, California has the questionable distinction of being the state with the highest number of school suspensions, the highest number of school expulsions and the highest number of youth of color in confinement. This creates a situation where black males in California, more than most states, have a challenged future.
Black men are significantly more likely to be affected by violent crime than any other group in the United States. Based on 1998 data, the probability of being murdered by age 45 is 2.21 percent nationally for all U.S. black males and 0.29 percent for all white males. The numbers for urban black males ranges from 2 to 8.5 percent nation wide.
Approximately 52 percent of gun homicide victims are African-American, while they represent less than 13 percent of the total population. African-American males between the ages of 15 and 24 have the highest firearm homicide rate of any demographic group. Their firearm homicide rate of 103.4 deaths per 100,000 is 10 times higher than the rate for white males in the same age group (10.5 deaths per 100,000).
For every firearm death, there are between three and eight nonfatal firearm injuries that show up in hospital emergency rooms.
Youth of color are overrepresented in confinement in the United States. African American youth represent 16% of the overall youth population, but represent 38% of youth in residential placements.
According to census data, there are about five million black men ages 20-39 in the US. Incarceration rates climbed in the 1990’s and reached historic highs in the past few years. In 1995, 16 percent of black men in their 20’s who did not attend college were in jail or prison; by 2004, 21 percent of this group were incarcerated. By their mid 30’s, 6 in 10 black men who had dropped out of school had spent time in prison. Among black dropouts in their late 20’s, more are in prison on a given day – 34 percent – than are working – 30 percent, according to an analysis of 2000 census data by Steven Raphael of the University of California, Berkeley. Federal data tend to understate the dropout rates among the poor, in part because imprisoned youth are not counted.
Studies have shown that all the negative trends are associated with poor schooling, and progress has been slight in recent years. Closer studies reveal that in inner cities across the country, more than half of all black men still do not finish high school.
Our boys are an asset for the community. Work with us to work for them to the benefit of us all.