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Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity

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Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity, 2015

What does this measure?

The number of people incarcerated in local jails by race/ethnicity, expressed as a rate per 10,000 residents of that race/ethnicity.

Why is this important?

Incarceration serves to remove offenders from a community, but also creates hardships on families, including the loss of an income or a caregiver, in addition to long-term effects on mental health for all involved. After incarceration, people often encounter challenges in obtaining meaningful employment, leading to reductions in long-term productivity, recidivism and widespread effects on a community's social, health and educational systems. Disparities in this rate by race or ethnicity can highlight structural differences in how communities are affected and treated by the public safety and criminal justice system.

How does our county compare?

In 2015, the latest year for which data is available, African Americans in Lancaster were incarcerated at a rate of 141 persons per 10,000 residents more than seven and a half times of the 18 per 10,000 rate of white residents. Latinos, at 63 per 10,000 residents, were incarcerated at nearly three and a half times the rate of white residents. This is greater than the overall rates for Pennsylvania, where African Americans are incarcerated at more than five and a half times the rate of whites and Latinos at 2.7 times the rate of whites.

While such disparities are repeated in all surrounding counties, all of them have lesser disparities than Lancaster, with the exception of Chester, where at 176 per 10,000 residents for African Americans and 15 per 10,000 for whites, African American residents are incarcerated at almost eleven and a half times the rate of white residents.

Lebanon and York have higher incarceration rates for all races than nearby counties, including Lancaster. In Lebanon, 321 African Americans, 74 Latinos and 50 whites per 10,000 are incarcerated, and in York, 346 African Americans, 143 Latinos and 57 whites per 10,000 are incarcerated

Why do these disparities exist?

Disparities in incarceration are the result of racialized stereotypes, policies and practices and community conditions. Stereotypes that portray Black and Latino people, especially males, as inherently dangerous, criminal, and violent lay the foundation for police surveillance and disparate and harsher treatment by the criminal justice system. Communities of color are more likely to be under surveillance and policies such as stop and frisk perpetuate increased police contact. Punitive drug laws have had disproportionate impact on Black and Latino communities. Even though Blacks and whites have similar rates of drug use, Black people are more likely to be arrested and experience harsher sentences. In general, whites experience less harsh sentences when convicted of similar crimes as Black and Latinos. Given economic disparities, people of color are less likely to experience pre-trial release after arrest. The concentration of Black and Latino communities in highly segregated communities with limited economic opportunities and ineffective schools may also foster crime involvement.

Notes about the data

Rates are for people in local jails at the county level and in prisons and county jails at the state level. Rates for subgroups at the state level only include the county jail population, not state prisons. National data reported here is missing five states that did not report.

Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity, 2015
AsianBlack or African AmericanLatinoNative AmericanWhite
Pennsylvania8.3138.668.351.724.9
Lancaster County20.0141.063.318.318.5
Dauphin County3.5168.074.851.531.6
York County148.1346.0142.717.756.9
Lebanon County7.3320.774.390.149.6
Cumberland County5.8107.315.338.524.0
Berks County9.1142.670.018.621.7
Chester County1.4176.29.118.415.4

Source: Vera Institute of Justice
Notes: Rates are per 10,000 residents




Number of Incarcerated People by Race/Ethnicity, 2015
AsianBlack or African AmericanLatinoNative AmericanWhite
Pennsylvania25613,3943,7678016,395
Lancaster County171942181521
Dauphin County35501082389
York County6961027611,402
Lebanon County166771357
Cumberland County47891339
Berks County41883621436
Chester County3391221423

Source: Vera Institute of Justice
Notes: Figures are for the total jail population. The total jail population is the average daily population.




INDICATORS TREND
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance in Grade 11 English Not Applicable
Student Performance in Grade 11 Math Not Applicable
Per-Student Spending Not Applicable
Students Receiving Special Education Services Not Applicable
Rate of Foster Care Admissions Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Not Applicable
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Not Applicable
College Graduation Rates Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Charitable Giving Not Applicable
Voter Registration Rate Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Not Applicable
Age of Housing Stock Not Applicable
Violent Crime Rate Not Applicable
Incarceration Rate Not Applicable
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population Density Not Applicable
Air Quality Not Applicable
Water Use Not Applicable
Waterways Impaired by Pollution Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Not Applicable
Language Diversity Not Applicable
Change in Employment by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Workers by Occupation Not Applicable
Change in Labor Force Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 Not Applicable
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Not Applicable
Employer Size Not Applicable
Change in Number of Businesses by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Total Agricultural Sales Not Applicable
Spending for Local Government Not Applicable
Spending for School Districts Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Not Applicable
Children in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Veterans Living in Poverty Not Applicable
Working Poor Not Applicable
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Not Applicable
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Not Applicable
Median Home Value Not Applicable
Occupied Housing Units Not Applicable
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Rent Not Applicable
Cost of Renting Not Applicable
Households Without Vehicles Not Applicable
Means of Transportation to Work, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Without Health Insurance Not Applicable
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Health Status Not Applicable
Prevalence of Mental Illness Not Applicable
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Mortality Rates Not Applicable
Fatal Drug Overdoses Not Applicable
Cancer Incidence Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Not Applicable
STEM Graduates Not Applicable
Science and Engineering Research and Development Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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