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As a result, they are imprisoned at more than five times the rate of whites.In some states, this disparity is more than ten to one.
In California it costs more than $75,000 per year to house each prisoner — more than it would cost to send them to Harvard.
Mass incarceration exacerbates poverty and inequality, serving as an economic ball and chain that holds back millions, making it harder to find a job, access public benefits, and reintegrate into the community.
The racial disparities pervasive in our justice system compound at every juncture: African Americans are more likely to be stopped by police, arrested, detained before trial, and given harsher sentences than whites.
Worse, the disparities in our justice system perpetuate racial inequity in our society more broadly.
Since then, the nationwide consensus in favor of a new direction has only hardened.
For the first time, the opportunity for truly transformative change is in view.
For too long, we have tolerated this civil rights crisis.
And mass incarceration simply is not necessary to keep our communities safe.
In fact, 27 states have reduced both imprisonment and crime together from 2006 to 2014.
It is increasingly clear that reform and safety go together.