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Bar graph showing that of those with incarcerated family members, most were black

Data Source: Created by the Prison Policy Initiative with data from Sundaresh et al., 2021. (Graph: Emily Widra, 2021)

This graph originally appeared in New data: People with incarcerated loved ones have shorter life expectancies and poorer health.

In the 2018 Family History of Incarceration Survey, Black people were overrepresented in the number of people who reported having an incarcerated immediate or extended family member, having a family member incarcerated for over 10 years, and having 3 or more incarcerated family members. Black people make up 40% of the incarcerated population, but only 13% of the general United States population and Black families, regardless of individual involvement with the criminal-legal system, lose their loved ones to prisons and jails at higher rates than their white counterparts. These findings do not adjust for demographic characteristics like gender, income, or age.

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