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Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

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Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby eriedasch » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:42 pm

The state that locks up the highest percentage of black men is Wisconsin. The national average is 6.7%, but in Wisconsin it's 12.8% - more than three percentage points higher than the second-placed state, Oklahoma


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24119398

One thing I do know is that passing laws like this will only make the problem worse:

http://www.examiner.com/article/state-s ... -bill-24-9

Senate Bill 150, the Republican-sponsored anti-pot bill that would give municipalities the power to enact local ordinances to prosecute pot cases rejected by local district attorneys passed on a 24-9 floor vote Tuesday in the State Senate.


This is what bothers me the most:
Six Democrats joined with Republicans to pass SB 150, which was passed at a time when 20 states and Washington D.C. have medical cannabis laws, Washington and Colorado have legalized adult use, and federal authorities are backing down on the war on pot and allowing states to set their own policies.


NOTE to backwards ass WI legislators: the rest of the country is laughing at us.

WTF Mark Miller and Tim Cullen?
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby Bludgeon » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:32 pm

We jail ours, and Chicago's.

Also, 12.8% of all the black men in the state are not all in jail for pot. Try, battery, larceny, hardcore narcotics, illegal guns, homicide.

I think it's pretty stupid to be talking about 'incarceration rates' - the obvious problem is offender rates. Have you been to rural Wisconsin? Most of those whities do nothing but work, eat and sleep.

That being said, I'm as against frivolous ticketing as anyone. Maybe in the context of it being a "social issue", people can admit that DRIVING while STONED while BLACK is a pretty shitty reason to condemn somebody to this snowball effect of DUI offenses, even if just "driving while stoned" is a pretty awesome reason for white people to end up on probation (thus likely jail), as far as the board is concerned.
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby lukpac » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:46 pm

Forty percent (N=10,497) of the African American males
from Milwaukee County incarcerated since 1990 were drug offenders. In the early 1990s African Americans had 4 times as many annual admissions for drug - related offenses as white men. As drug offenses soared in the 2002 to 2005 years African American men had 11 to 12 times as many drug - related prison admissions as white men.


http://www4.uwm.edu/eti/2013/BlackImprisonment.pdf
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby snoqueen » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:06 pm

Wisconsin:
come for vacation,
leave on probation.

I didn't make that up. Our reputation is well known.

Minnesota, which is not all that unlike Wisconsin in many demographic respects, has half our rate of incarceration according to the ever-useful Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U. ... ation_rate

Not broken down by race or by crime, but still telling. What does all this court activity accomplish? Are we twice as safe as Minnesota?

I know that's a misuse of statistics, but what benefit are we getting?

Meanwhile, I hope everybody enjoyed Minnesota's ad campaign inviting gay couples to come there to get married.

Wisconsin turning into the Alabama of the north in more ways than one.
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:21 pm

snoqueen wrote:Wisconsin:
come for vacation,
leave on probation.

Probation, yes. Parole, no.

BBC notes that Wisconsin has a lot of prisons, and lawmakers here are willing to pass laws to keep them filled up. (For instance, upon gaining control of state government, one of the first items on the Republican's agenda was rescinding the state's early release program.)
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby pjbogart » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:03 pm

I've always been under the assumption that the "War on Drugs" is more about politics than drugs. In many States, having a felony conviction bars you from ever voting again, although in Wisconsin you are eligible to vote after you complete your sentence. So the WOD has been extremely effective, assuming that its purpose was to reduce the number of African American voters.

I don't feel all that strongly either way on the legalization issue, but I feel very strongly that a democratic society should encourage voter participation from all citizens, including those convicted of a felony. If the number of felonious citizens is so great that they make up their own demographic capable of swinging elections then perhaps that says something about the justice system.
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby baked goods » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:19 pm

eriedasch wrote:Why does WI send so many black people to jail?


Ignoring the facts is futile. The answer is right in front of your face.
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby snoqueen » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:02 pm

I am totally at a loss to understand what that has to do with the topic under discussion, which if you look at the original post has to do with increased enforcement of marijuana laws, and how Wisconsin is moving backward instead of forward on that matter as with many others.
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby Igor » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:11 pm

snoqueen wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U. ... ation_rate

<snip>

Wisconsin turning into the Alabama of the north in more ways than one.


Based on that data, we are behind Michigan, California, Delaware, Ohio, Indiana, Alaska, SD, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania in incarceration rates. So, I guess maybe we are the Alabama of the area between Lake Michigan and the Red River.
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby Bludgeon » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:33 am

lukpac wrote:
Forty percent (N=10,497) of the African American males
from Milwaukee County incarcerated since 1990 were drug offenders. In the early 1990s African Americans had 4 times as many annual admissions for drug - related offenses as white men. As drug offenses soared in the 2002 to 2005 years African American men had 11 to 12 times as many drug - related prison admissions as white men.


http://www4.uwm.edu/eti/2013/BlackImprisonment.pdf


What you're not showing:

1) What percentage of that "40% of incarcerated African American males [that] have drug-related offenses" also are in jail for other serious crimes. Again, battery, larceny, hardcore narcotics, illegal guns, homicide.

2). What percentage of that "40% of incarcerated African American males [that] have drug-related offenses" -- are there for crack, heroin, PCP, etc.

I love the rampant ambiguity in slanted studies - you can confirm any bias.

To me, what's missing in this statistic is actually the vital question about that statistic. Who are they counting in this 40%? Honestly, you don't even know if they're taking a guy currently in jail for stabbing, noticing some drug related misdemeanor in his past, and calling him one of the "40% of incarcerated African American males [that] have drug-related offenses".
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby peripat » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:12 am

So logically if the stats aren't specific enough to let you know how many black people are in jail for multiple offenses, they also don't let you know how many white people are in jail for multiple offenses bringing you back to zero on that particular question.....unless of course your object is to imply that black people are by nature criminals and thus considerably more likely to be jailed only after they have done a large number of crimes. Geez
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby Bludgeon » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:33 am

peripat wrote:So logically if the stats aren't specific enough to let you know how many black people are in jail for multiple offenses...

Why... if you're going to fund a study to find out how many X people are in jail FOR "Z", why would you not want to eliminate the people who are actually incarcerated long term for something else? It's not vague, it's misleading.

We should all be tired of these leading questions and their blind search for biased answers. I'm as against this 'incarceration culture' we've engendered as anybody else. I think it's unjust what the criminal justice system is generally doing to everybody entangled in it. It's all a bit too much like thugs with bats yanking people out of their lives and demanding a 'toll'. The system is especially callous and unforgiving to the poor, who basically get stuck in this viscous cycle.

But - it's bad for everybody. As far as I'm concerned the only people who belong in jail at all are people who commit violent/invasive/dangerous sorts of crimes. Unfortunately for people who want easy answers, you can take away the drug charges and nonetheless the majority of people in jail for battery, larceny, illegal guns, homicide - - are still going to be black. But I don't blame the criminal justice system for that, I blame our blind social policies.

Honestly I could care less that we give people government assistance, but I do see this act of doing so as a potential (and likely) cause of the cultural corrosion that over a span of generations, leads to this sort of communal habituation to a degrading moral standard. White, black, doesn't matter; same effect on a trailer park in rural Alabama as it has on a project neighborhood in urban Milwaukee. To me, our effort towards minority communities stemming from the African continent of origin in particular, continues to do more harm than good socially, politically and culturally. And I say when we look at the disparity between black and white incarceration rates in Wisconsin, the proof is in the pudding.
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby peripat » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:11 am

Bludgeon wrote:White, black, doesn't matter; same effect on a trailer park in rural Alabama as it has on a project neighborhood in urban Milwaukee. To me, our effort towards minority communities stemming from the African continent of origin in particular, continues to do more harm than good socially, politically and culturally. And I say when we look at the disparity between black and white incarceration rates in Wisconsin, the proof is in the pudding.

Well, if you look at the country as a whole all the Wisconsin incarceration rates prove is that Wisconsin is a racist backwoods ignorant peckerwood sort of place where black people are locked up for things that are ignored in white people...a sort of institutionalized -and largely successful effort to make sure black people cannot vote in Wisconsin, cannot find jobs or get financial aid for higher education, because of bogus criminal records.
Unless of course your thesis is that black people in Wisconsin are more prone to criminality than black people in the other 49 states of the union, in which case you still have to ask what is different about Wisconsin. Hint- it is not that we are more decent, law abiding types.
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby gargantua » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:21 am

Peripat nailed it. The point of the thread isn't to get lost in the data about the various and sundry reasons why people in Wisconsin are incarcerated.

The point is, why is Wisconsin so different, in a negative way, than everybody else?

And this isn't particularly a Scott Walker issue either. This was an issue under Doyle, and under Thompson.
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Re: Why does WI send so many black people to jail?

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:25 am

Also consider this. 6% of the population in Wisconsin is African American and we are on the waaaaay low side of percentages, yet we lock up the highest number. Something is fucked up with those statistics.

You can see the numbers here:

http://blackdemographics.com/population ... opulation/
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