Tags: Voting Rights | incarceration rate | wisconsin

Rates of Incarceration in Wisconsin

By    |   Monday, 04 Apr 2016 07:59 PM

Wisconsin's 2013 incarceration rate fell almost smack-dab in the middle of U.S. states; with a rate of 360 incarcerated adults per 100,000, it was 6 percent lower than the national average of 395 per 100,000.

While that's almost double the incarceration rate of Wisconsin's neighbor, Minnesota (189 per 100,000), it is in line with the rates of other nearby states, Illinois (377 per 100,000) and Michigan (441 per 100,000), according to data compiled by the National Institute of Corrections.

Where Wisconsin does not align with the rest of the country is its incarceration of black males, which, according to a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study, is the highest in the nation, nearly 13 percent, a full 3 percent higher than the state with the next highest rate, Oklahoma, with 10 percent. The national incarceration rate for black males is 6.7 percent.

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About 1 in 8 of all adult black males in Milwaukee County have spent some time in the prison system, mostly for nonviolent drug-related crimes. In 2000, a tough "three strikes" mandatory sentencing policy was put into place, and the numbers skyrocketed in Milwaukee, where inmates commonly cycled in and out of prison for low-level drug charges, such as possession of marijuana.

Although the incarceration rate in Wisconsin has been decreasing since 2010, the state's numbers have drawn attention from the worldwide media, with the BBC producing a documentary seeking to find answers as to why a state with a relatively low number of African-Americans, at 6 percent — although Milwaukee County, the area most targeted for drug offenses, is 27 percent black — incarcerates that demographic in such a high proportion.

The rate of Native American men incarcerated in Wisconsin was reported by UWM at 7.6 percent, also around double the representation of the state's population. Native American men make up 3.1 percent of Wisconsin's population.

Hispanic men in Wisconsin do a little better than the national average as their rate of incarceration is 1.7 percent compared to 2 percent nationally.

Wisconsin's incarceration rate of white men was nearly identical to the nation average at 1.2 percent versus 1.3 percent.

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Wisconsin's 2013 incarceration rate was about average, with a rate of 360 incarcerated adults per 100,000; it was 6 percent lower than the national average of 395 per 100,000. While Wisconsin's incarceration rate almost doubles its neighbor, Minnesota, it is in line with other nearby states.
incarceration rate, wisconsin
Monday, 04 Apr 2016 07:59 PM
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