Crude Growth Rates for African American Males in the U.S. Prison System

Jeffrey M. London, University of Colorado at Boulder
Patrick Krueger, University of Colorado at Boulder

The purpose of this paper will be to use demographic methodology to study the increasing rates of incarceration for African American men and women. Our intention was to provide reliable estimates of what future populations of incarcerated individuals will look like into the years 2010 and 2020. Data were acquired from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics on the number and rate of adults incarcerated in the US by sex and by race from the years 1985 through 1997. Reliable estimates were arrived at for the number of adults that will be incarcerated into the year 2020. By calculating the Crude Growth Rate (CGR) for each subpopulation (white males, white females, black males, black females) for each year we were able to accomplish this end. Results indicate that by the year 2005 there will be approximately 1.3 million African American males incarcerated in the US. By the year 2010 there will be almost 2 million African American males incarcerated. And by the year 2020 our projections indicate that over 4 million African American males will be in America's prison and jail system.

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Updated 05/20/2006