in the cohort born between 1965 and 1969, thirty percent of black men without a college education—and sixty percent of black men without a high school degree—had been incarcerated by 1999. Recent cohorts of black men were more likely to have prison records (22.4 percent) than military records (17.4 percent) or bachelor’s degrees (12.5 percent).
Could there be...racism? No...Black people are just morally defective!
And the land...of the "free"....
Also of interest: The VC has a line graph up on the amount of people put in either prison or mental institutions from 1934 to the present day. Up through the 1960s, mental institutions dwarfed prisons. But starting around 1970, the amount of people held in mental institutions crashed, and prison populations began to skyrocket starting in the 1980s, such that the relative proportions are nearly completely reversed from where they were in 1934.
Part of this, of course, is that we've gotten better at diagnosing and treating mental illnesses so that they don't require institutionalization (or that they're not mental illnesses at all). But part of it is probably that people who do have mental illnesses are being shuttled off into prison instead of getting the care that they need.