Study: Two-Thirds Of Prisoners Serving Life Sentences Are People Of Color

More than two thirds of the roughly 203,000 prisoners serving life sentences in the United States are people of color, according to a new study citing official corrections data obtained last year from all states and the federal Bureau of Prisons.

The study, released by the Sentencing Project, found that roughly 20 percent of Black male prisoners are serving life sentences. About 11 percent of Black women serving prison sentences are also serving life, according to the study.

In states like Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, and Maryland, the study found that over two-thirds of those sentenced to life in prison are Black Americans, which account for 46 percent of those serving life sentences nationwide despite only accounting for around 13 percent of the U.S. population.

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Over 200,000 People Are Serving Life In U.S. Prisons. These Are The Consequences.

More than 200,000 people are serving life sentences in U.S. prisons today, and most of them are locked in state correctional facilities. The vast majority of lifers are people of color, about 30% are people age 55 and older, and an increasing number are women.

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THE LONG TERM

The Long Term is a hand-drawn animation developed by artists serving long term sentences.

The video uses personal narrative and research to describe the scale and impact of long term sentencing policies. The work tells the stories about the fear of dying inside, the feeling of being programmed by prison and the impact on family life, from the perspective of 11 artists serving life or long term sentences.

The Sentencing Project reports that 1 in 9 people in prison are serving life sentences, and 1 in 7 have sentences of fifty years or more.

People locked in, or headed to, maximum security prisons are marked for death-by-incarceration.

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