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More Black men in college than in prison?

Posted by Newsroom On April - 30 - 2013


Reprint from The Sentencing Project


Race & Justice News



For nearly a decade, there has been a claim that there are more black men in prison than in college. The statement arises from a report based on 2001 data from the National Center for Educational Statistics. In an interview with NPR, Ivory Toldson, Associate Professor at Howard University, reports that data on black males were previously missing for at least 1,000 colleges, including a number of historically black universities. Currently, there are 1.4 million black men in college, and about 840,000 in prison or jail.

Perpetuating the belief that black men in prison outnumber black men in college is harmful, according to Dr. Toldson, because it contributes to a situation where keeping black males out of prison becomes its own success.  “The problem is that young, black males are not being advised to seek out the most competitive [colleges], and they’re not being prepared in the way that we should be preparing them, I think, because we believe that just getting them into any college is a success.”


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