Study: Black Male High-School Dropouts Have High Prison Risk

A new study from the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project shows alarming statistics about the prison risk that African American men who do not complete high school face.

With data that shows the cumulative risk of imprisonment for men by age 30-34, the study shows that black men born between 1975-79 who are in their 30s now, and without a high school diploma, have a 70 percent chance of going to prison.

To take things a little further, the data also shows that African American children born to high school dropout fathers have a 50 percent chance of seeing their father incarcerated by their fourteenth birthday.

RELATED: Graduation Rate Reaches Historic High, But Achievement Gaps Remain

These alarming statistics should serve as a wake up call, with continued reports showing that the country’s achievement gap still exists and that despite a national high graduation rate, only 69 percent of African American students are actually graduating high school.

In addition to low graduation rates, it’s also evident that racial discrimination exist within the American criminal justice system, with studies showing that more blacks are likely to be arrested and convicted of a crime than their white counterparts. In 2011, black teens were amongst the lowest minority group to abuse drugs, yet studies from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention show that in the same year approximately 600,000 black teens were arrested for drug abuse compared to approximately 400,000 white teens.

Earlier this week, Dr. Cornel West spoke in Albany, NY at a rally against solitary confinement and according to Democracy Now he touched on the racial disparities that exist within the criminal justice system saying, “Solitary confinement is torture, and it’s a crime against humanity to lock folks up when 60 percent of them are there for soft drugs, and everybody knows 12 percent of those are on the chocolate side, 12 percent of those are on the vanilla side of flying high in the friendly skies every week taking drugs, but 65 percent of the convictions are chocolate.”

See the detailed charts below with results from the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project study.