Lashawn Marston, of Queens, N.Y., and a member of Just Leadership USA protests with the group Challenge Incarceration and other organizations demanding prison justice at the state Capitol on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Albany, N.Y.
Credit: Hans Pennink / AP Photo

Between the 1970s and early 2000s the United States saw a 700 percent increase in incarceration, which disproportionately targeted Black and low-income people.

Now, reform efforts in recent years are beginning to reduce imprisonment rates for the most affected communities. A new report by The Sentencing Project, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, unpacks these declines and some of the policy changes driving them.

Black women and Black men saw the most significant differences. From 2000 to 2021, the imprisonment rate fell by 70 percent for Black women and by 48 percent for Black men. In comparison, Latinas saw an 18 percent decrease, Latinos saw a 34 percent decrease, White women increased by 12 percent and White men decreased 27 percent.

Even with these changes, the imprisonment rate among Black people remains the highest, and […]

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