Justice Roundtable partner, Wade Henderson, Esq. President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, writes in the Huffington Post on how federal sentencing reform would aid communities of color.
“There are few institutions in American life that have a harsher impact on people of color — and African Americans in particular — than the criminal justice system. Of Black males born in 2001, one in three can expect to spend at least a year of his life in prison. The combination of socioeconomic disadvantage and criminal justice policies creates a toxic brew, with 70 percent of Black male high school dropouts incarcerated by the age of 35.
“Although the federal prison system houses only a fraction of America’s prisoners, it contributes to these outcomes – primarily due to the war on drugs. Of those sentenced for federal drug offenses last year, 73 percent were Black or Latino, even though Whites use and sell drugs at roughly the same rate.”