A study from The Sentencing Project suggests that over the past decade, the incarceration rate for blacks in America has declined. At the same time, whites are being locked up at a higher rate. From 2000 to 2009, 8.5 percent more white men and a shocking 47 percent more white women were sent to prison. During the same period, the rate dropped by 9.8 percent for black men and 30.7 percent for black women.
The report cites changes in drug sentencing laws and mandatory sentencing and changes among the crimes being committed by different demographics as reasons for the change. As Gawker mentions, the biggest reveal here is that the racial blend of who is being locked up—particularly women—may be changing, but the fact that America incarcerates people more frequently than any other nation remains a constant.