How different are incarceration rates for Blacks and Whites in the US?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How accurate do you think the average American would be?

  3. How surprising is this information?

  4. What is the take-home point of this chart?

  5. List two consequences of this huge disparity in incarceration rates for different races:

  6. What questions do you have about this?

  7. Why do you think there is such a huge disparity in incarceration rate for different races?

  8. Explain why these racial disparities in incarceration are not a bigger issue in the 2016 election or in American society, in general?

  9. Explain whether you think this chart is good or bad news:

  10. If you were to rename this chart, what would a good title be? Write the new title in the comments section below:

  11. What steps could the US government take to change these numbers?

  12. Prediction: What percent chance does a black male born in 1991 have of spending time in prison at some point in his life?*

Learning Extension

Here's a really cool interactive map from the Sentencing Project where you can find out more about your state's statistics on incarceration. One of the best works of non-fiction I've read in years is Michelle Alexander's inspiring The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, part of which you can read for free on Google Books.

Action Extension

Share this information with friends and family, in person or on social media. Find out what they think about this (is it good, bad, changeable?) and share their responses with class.

Bonus Chart

Here's another way of looking at this information:

*A Black male born in 1991 has a 29% chance of spending time in prison at some point in his life.