Mass incarceration means millions of Black men are locked up. Health disparities also affect Black men - they’re more likely to die from homicide, diabetes, and kidney disease. The result? One out of every six Black men is “missing” from his community.
What is the impact on these communities of millions of missing Black men?
Family dynamics are impacted in a major way. Black people have lower marriage rates and higher rates of childbirth outside of marriage. Busy single parents then have to juggle work and childcare by themselves!
Money is also a huge factor. Black women already have fewer wealth-building opportunities, and make only 80% as much as white women (and 60% as much as white men).
For a single parent, the missing income makes things even tougher. Plus, jails charge inmates for all kinds of things, and it’s usually family and partners who have to pay!
There’s also a huge political impact - none of these men can vote! Donald Trump won in 2016 by a razor-thin margin. Could a few million more Black votes have changed things?
There’s a bit of good news though - because of activism, prison reform efforts, transformative justice initiatives in schools, and better health outcomes due to Obamacare, the disparity is shrinking! We must keep applying pressure to ensure that continues.