Calling Upon the President of the United States to Establish a Blue Ribbon Commission to Address the Racial Disparities in America’s Jails and Prisons
WHEREAS, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, The Sentencing Project, there are now 6.5 million Americans incarcerated or on probation or parole; and an increase of more that 240% since 1980; and
WHEREAS, the 2000 United States' rate of incarceration of 699 inmates per 100,000 population is the highest reported rate in the world, now ahead of Russia's rate of 644 per 100,000 population; and
WHEREAS, Black males have a 29% chance of serving time in prison at some point in their life, Hispanic males have a 15% chance of serving time in prison in their life, while white males have a 4% chance of serving time in prison in their life; and
WHEREAS, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics – "Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2001" there were 1.96 million offenders incarcerated in prison or jail on June 30, 2001; and
WHEREAS, the report "Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2001" confirmed that 601,800 Black males were in prison or jail on June 30, 2001; and
WHEREAS, according to the Department of Health & Human Services, there are more than 500,000 children in the system and more than 60% of these children are black and a large percentage of these children move to the juvenile justice system and on to the adult criminal justice system.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,that the NAACP call upon the President of the United States to (1) appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission and (2) urge both Houses of the United States Congress to hold hearings to assess the reasons for the racial disparities and (3) develop intervention strategies to address the causes in America's jails and prisons at all levels.