UWM report cites high incarceration rates among black males in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has the highest black male incarceration rate in the country, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

According to the study, more than 50 percent of black males in their 30s in Milwaukee County have spent time in state prison.

The study is titled, “Wisconsin’s Mass Incarceration of African American Males: Workforce Challenges for 2013.”

The report also points out that time in prison is the most serious barrier to employment, which helps to explain the excessively high unemployment rate among African American men in Milwaukee.

The study was prepared by John Pawasarat and Lois Quinn of the UWM Employment and Training Institute.

“Among the most critical workforce issues facing Wisconsin are governmental policies and practices leading to mass incarceration of African Americans men and suspensions of driving privileges to low-income adults. The prison population in Wisconsin has more than tripled since 1990, fueled by increased government funding for drug enforcement (rather than treatment) and prison construction, three-strike rules, mandatory minimum sentence laws, truth-in-sentencing replacing judicial discretion in setting punishments, concentrated policing in minority communities, and state incarceration for minor probation and supervision violations,” the report stated.

To view the full report, click here.

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