Women of color fastest growing segment of American prison population

Professor Chesney-Lind was quoted in an article by Julianne Hing from ColorLines.com, which was redistributed by Truthout.org (“Jezebels, Welfare Queens, and Now, Criminally Bad Black Moms”).

In the last 20 years, women of color have become the fastest growing segment of the prison population, driven in large part by new classes of crimes that have been created or relabeled, said University of Hawaii criminologist Meda Chesney-Lind. Where 20 years ago crimes like the sale and possession of tiny amounts of drugs, or drug use during pregnancy, were not even considered crimes, today they are fueling a massive uptick in incarceration rates. The addition of mandatory minimum prison sentencing over the years eliminated judges’ discretion and contributed to these racially disparate increases.

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