Prison incarceration rates by race and education

Male African American high school dropouts facing a nearly 70% cumulative risk of imprisonment by their early 30s. However, the increase in incarceration rates among high school graduates appeared to be much the same for both blacks and whites.

This hints that racism is not as good explanatory of high rates of African-American male incarceration. Police do not know whether the people they arrest have high school diplomas or not but most of the people they arrest are high school dropouts. This suggests that the opportunity cost and rewards of crime over lawful occupational pursuits is a driver of the supply of crime.

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