Source: Newsweek

 Justice in America: One in five Black prisoners is serving life sentence

By: Lucy Westcott

A record number of people are serving a form of life sentence in United States prisons, including one out of every five African-American prisoners. According to a new report from the Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group that seeks to reform the U.S. criminal justice system, one out of every seven prisoners in the U.S. is serving a life sentence, whether it’s life with parole, life without parole or a “virtual life sentence,” defined as a sentence of 50 years or more. They make up roughly 13.9 percent of the nation’s prison population. More than 17,000 people are serving life sentences for nonviolent crimes, and 30 percent of them are for nonviolent drug offenses, according to the report. Nearly 12,000 prisoners are serving life sentences for crimes committed as teenagers. Read more here.

 

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