The Atlantic

How Mass Incarceration Pushes Black Children Further Behind in School

A new study shows that the disproportionate imprisonment rates faced by people of color contribute to race-based inequalities in educational attainment.
Source: Rich Pedroncelli / AP

In the summer of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the closing remarks at the March on Washington. More than 200,000 people gathered to cast a national spotlight on and mobilize resistance to Jim Crow, racist laws and policies that disenfranchised black Americans and mandated segregated housing, schools, and employment. Today, more than 50 years later, remnants of Jim Crow segregation persist in the form of mass incarceration—the imprisonment of millions of Americans, overwhelmingly and disproportionately black adults, in local, state, and federal prisons.

The U.S. incarceration rate is more than five times higher than that in most of the world’s nations, despite a crime rate that’s comparable to other politically stable, industrialized countries. And among the swelling number of incarcerated men and women is a vast number of parents. In 2015

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Americans Can Handle the Truth. Mueller Needs to Give It to Them.
If former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony will have any value tomorrow, it should be to guide Congress to satisfy its constitutionally distinct role. Mueller, a former FBI director, has always displayed a “just the facts approach.” He alre
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
Bill Barr Already Won
President Trump’s attorney general had the first word on the Mueller investigation. It may end up being the final word.
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
Iran Is Acting Like the International Villain of Trump’s Prophecy
Any number of relatively mundane scenarios now have the potential to escalate U.S.-Iran tensions—from a fire at a militia base to the seizure of an oil tanker to the signal-jamming of a drone.