The DoJ simply shuffled them out of sight, hoping no one would notice or care about a few thousand lives. And for the most part, no one did.
It’s clear that the DoJ decided to simply remove mixed black-and-white prisoners from the system because a footnote in the DoJ’s statistics opaquely fesses up:
“Data analysis procedures adopted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2004 affected the categorization of persons identifying with two or more races… and had the result of a modest reduction in the number of persons identified as non-Hispanic white and black.”
Looking at the DoJ’s chart, what happened to the percentage of black prisoners in 2004 after the prisoners identified as mixed black-and-white were left out of the calculations?
In 2003, all but 1.2% of the prison population is accounted for, a percentage explained by Asians and other smaller ethnicities not being listed on the chart at all. And then suddenly the very next year in 2004, the exact year the DoJ changes the way it counts prisoners who identified themselves as mixed black-and-white, 7.7% of the total population pool is now missing.
2003 total: 64,800 + 133,100 + 50,100 = 248,000 prisoners accounted for
248,000 / 250,900 = 1.2% missing
2004 total: 65,900 + 112,500+ 51,800 = only 230,200 prisoners accounted for
230,200 / 249,400 = 7.7% missing
Between those two years, when it seems like the percentage of blacks plummets by 7.9%, 16,200 prisoners simply disappear. That’s 6.5% of the data left unaccounted for when you factor in the 1.2% of Asians and other ethnicities left off every year of the chart.
Using the same calculation the report uses to draw its conclusion that between 1999 and 2005 the percentage of black prisoners drops by 21.6% (dividing the total number of black prisoners from one year by the number of black prisoners the year before), in a single year the percentage of black prisoners seems to have plummeted by 18.2%. However this is simply because, as the above footnote states, in 2004 the DoJ changed the way it categorizes prisoners identifying themselves as of mixed race, both white-and-black.
Apparently it didn’t just “affect categorization,” in one year the DoJ just removed 6.5% of the data – some 16,200 prisoners – from their calculations entirely.
Maybe through simple bureaucratic incompetence but more likely through a concerted attempt to warp the numbers, people who identified themselves as mixed black-and-white were simply thrown out, and percentages were calculated from an incomplete number that was missing prisoners who identified themselves as mixed.
Because where it really gets damning, is when you put those prisoners back into the system.
Unless of course you’d like to argue with our President, or take the issue up with Young Jeezy: we can assume those thousands belong in the Black column, where they originally were up until 2004.And we’ll assume that unaccounted for ethnicities make up 1.2% of the total, the same percentage there was in 2004 when the DoJ quietly changed things up.
That would change the the total number of incarcerated blacks in 2005 from 113,500 to 126,900 , so instead of 44.8% of the total population they now really make up about 50% of it. And that 50% is only down 7.6% from 1999 when they made up 57.6% of the population. Even beyond the way the data was heavily massaged, it’s staggering that according to DoJ numbers only 14% of regular drug users in 2005 were black and yet they consisted of 50% of those incarcerated for drug offenses.
So now using the statistic highlighted by the media, and instead examining the way the black prisoner population changed year to year – instead of an overall decrease in the Black population from 1999 to 2005 of 21.6% as the chart erroneously states, the adjusted decrease is instead 12.3%. That’s nearing half the stated level, a fairly large mistake.
So the Department of Justice is lying about the reality of bias in our prison system, drug laws in America have always been rooted in class control, and the precise year that they began is the same year that black families were put on the road to own eight-cents for every dollar owned by whites… where does all of this take us?
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” -Abraham Lincoln