A new report fromMetricMaps details a shocking statistic — in 16 states in the nation, there are more people locked up in correctional facilities than those residing in college dorms.
Most of the states highlighted in the report are in the South and most of the inmates are Black.
Out of the 16 states listed in the report, Alabama has 647 per 100,000 residents behind bars. AL.com reports that the state is one of only five with an incarceration rate higher than 600 inmates per 100,000 residents.
On Tuesday, Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now Straight Talk panel discussed this alarming report detailing the number of Americans imprisoned in U.S. facilities.
NewsOne Now panelist and managing editor for Politic365.com, Lauren Victoria Burke, told Martin, “Ifyou take that money into education, you would actually stop the incarceration because it would be a preventative economic measure.”
Leadership Strategist Avis Jones-DeWeever added, “Let’s be frank about this, Black bodies are still a commodity in this country.”
“It is a driving force for employment for a lot of people who are not qualified, quite frankly, to do anything else,” she added.
Martin, host of NewsOne Now, expanded the conversation, “It’s not just Black[s] now…the number of White inmates and the issue of meth [in] West Virginia and Tennessee, in Georgia … it’s literally an attack on the poor.”
Martin went on to highlight that California spends $49,000 per year to house one inmate in a state prison.
Joe Jones, Founder and CEO of the Center for Urban Families, said, “Privatizing prison management is big business.”
“These private industries contract with governments, they put quotas in place in their contracts to say that the states have to maintain a certain level of occupied beds in order to fulfill those contracts. So if a state doesn’t have X number of inmates in a cell, the state then has to pay a fee to the contractor who is managing the prison.
“That is unconscionable and I don’t think most of us understand how the prison industry works.”
Watch Martin, Lauren Victoria Burke, Joe Jones, and Avis Jones-DeWeever discuss the disturbing statistics detailing the number of Americans that are incarcerated outpacing the number of Americans currently being housed in college dormitories in the audio clip below.