Started with a tweet from Chris Hayes. MSNBC’s, not Channel 2’s.
Which pretty much tells you all you need to know, except my problem with LGDL’s missive is that it presumes that black and white criminality rates are uniform across all states, and that the state by state differences in per-race incarceration rates is entirely a function of strictness or leniency in the various states’ law enforcement and criminal sentencing cultures. Maybe they are roughly equal enough to fit in the relevant range of this analysis, and their differences don’t make this analysis any less true. However, it is undeniable that the white criminality rate in Arkansas is higher than the white criminality rate in Wisconsin, and the black criminality rate in Mississippi is higher than the black criminality rate in Alaska.
It does lead to an interesting point — That if deincarceration is actually a bone fide thing, instead of what I think it is, all hot air, bluster and diversionary noise to conceal increasing incarceration, then it will wind up increasing the B:W incarceration gap, because, as you can see, moving the incarceration threshold from strict to lenient will wind up freeing or non-incarcerating more whites than blacks. Moving the threshold the other way, from lenient to strict, hits against the law of diminishing marginal returns when it comes to blacks, because so much of their criminality is the type that not even lenient jurisdictions can ignore. But moving the threshold from strict to lenient means scooping up a lot of low hanging fruit kinds of whites.
Sentencing Project’s maps. The Hispanic-white gap is interesting to me. I think a big part of the reason why there are a fair number of states, including Missouri, where the H:W ratio is under 1 (Missouri is 0.6) is small Hispanic population sizes juxtaposed with enough lower class whites. But when you’re in the border states, the H:W ratio is well over 1, in fact, close to 2 in New Mexico, Arizona and California. And I think the reason why it’s higher in the Northeast (4.3 in Massachusetts, e.g.) is because East Coast Hispanics are mulatto Caribbeans, not continental Chicanos/Mestizos from Mexico southward.