Tag Archives: Northern America

U.S. Research | Incarcerated Black & Latinx

Mixed Optimism in New U.S. Incarceration Statistics

Racial and ethnic disparities in incarceration in the U.S. have long been the target of research, with the gaps an indicator of the effects of unevenly policed populations and legacies of bondage, segregation, and criminalization. Nevertheless, the difference in rates of incarceration in federal and state prisons between groups has shrunk, and criminal justice reform advocates hope that the last decade has been an indication of a turning of the tide towards de-incarceration and the decriminalization of communities of color.

New data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics continue to enliven those hopes as they show continuing gains in 2016 in the wake of the incarceration apex in 2009, and analysts have begun offering a number of reasons for the tightening numbers, including changes in drug-related law enforcement and an increased focus on sex crimes. However, disparities at the the juvenile level have widened, and advocates and researchers continue to worry over the growth of contributing phenomena including the school-to-prison pipeline.

1,458,173 (2016) vs. 1,553,574 (2009)

Total number of prisoners (decrease of 6%)

486,900 (2016) vs. 584,800 (2009)

Number of black prisoners (decrease of 17%)

339,300 (2016) vs. 341,200 (2009)

Number of Latinx prisoners (decrease of <1%)

439,800 (2016) vs. 490,000 (2009)

Number of white prisoners (decrease of 10%)

33% (black) vs. 23% (Latinx) vs. 30% (white)

Percentage of prison population by race/ethnicity

12% (black) vs. 16% (Latinx) vs. 64% (white)

Percentage of overall population by race/ethnicity

1,604 (black) vs. 856 (Latinx) vs. 274 (white)

Number of incarcerated people per 100,000 adults in racial/ethnic group


Study

Prisoners in 2016 (Bureau of Justice Statistics | January 2018)

Read

The gap between the number of blacks and whites in prison is shrinking” (Pew Research Center | January 2018)

A Mass Incarceration Mystery” (The Marshall Project | December 2017)

Black Disparities in Youth Incarceration” (The Sentencing Project | September 2017)

Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2017” (The Prison Policy Initiative | March 2017)

There’s been a big decline in the black incarceration rate, and almost nobody’s paying attention” (The Washington Post | February 2016)

U.S. Feature | Poor & Low-income Women

The Haunting of U.S. Housing by Sexual Exploitation


Source: WBAL-TV/YouTube (October 2015)

Each year, hundreds of lawsuits against agencies and individuals associated with housing management in the U.S. are filed, the tip of the iceberg of rampant sexual misconduct and abuse disrupting housing security for poor and low-income women. Landlords, property managers, maintenance workers, security officers, and housing program managers have demanded sexual favors from tenant women in exchange for continued residence or program coverage, including qualification for Section 8 housing. A combination of an affordable housing crunch, long wait times for housing program intake, the threat of homelessness via retaliation, and the consequences of eviction on future housing access have left many women vulnerable to sexual exploitation and many men engaging in coercion with impunity.

While the lack of robust national studies and uneven state reporting practices on sexual harassment in housing have long obscured the problem, legislators have introduced House and Senate versions of a bill to amend the Fair Housing Act with explicit anti-harassment language and federal agencies have announced steps to target exploitation, including piloting an initiative to identify reporting barriers. Similarly, advocates have begun building consciousness amidst the burgeoning national conversation on gender-based sexual misconduct driven by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

Read

A woman’s choice – sexual favours or lose her home” (BBC News | January 2018)

HUD charges Wichita landlord with housing discrimination after alleged sexual harassment” (KWCH-TV | November 2017)

Justice Department Announces Initiative to Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing” (U.S. Department of Justice | October 2017)

Watch

Complaints of Sexual Harassment in Public Housing Go Ignored” (The Real News Network | September 2017)

Justice Department sues KCK Housing Authority for sexual harassment” (KSHB-TV | October 2015)

Study

Fair Housing Act

Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing Act (Proposed Senate bill)

Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing Act (Proposed House bill)

Sexual Harassment and Fair Housing Toolkit (Equal Rights Center)

Memo: Questions and Answers on Sexual Harassment under the Fair Housing Act (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development)

Connect

National Fair Housing Alliance

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development: Fair Housing

Report

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (fairhousing@usdoj.gov1-844-380-6178)

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (1-800-669-9777)

 

U.S. News | Somali Immigrants

Deported Somali immigrants file suit against U.S. for inhumane conditions during removal flight
  • The 92 deported individuals were reportedly subjected to physical and psychological abuse during a 48-hour trip intended for Mogadishu, including physical shackling, medication withholding, and lack of restroom access.
  • After landing in Dakar, Senegal, the flight was held for nearly 24 hours before eventually returning to the U.S., with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials denying incident.
  • The lawsuit seeks to reopen their deportation cases and ensure the future treatment and security of the plaintiffs, with some having lived in the U.S. for decades and fearing retribution by the militant group al-Shabaab given the publicity surrounding the flight.
Read

Somalis were shackled for nearly 48 hours on failed US deportation flight” (The Guardian | December 2017)

Somalis faced ‘inhumane’ abuse on US deportation flight” (Al Jazeera | December 2017)

Somalis faced ‘slave ship conditions’ on failed deportation flight” (Public Radio Internationalvia USA Today | December 2017)

U.S. News | Racial & Religious Minorities and Allies

Attackers connected to white supremacist groups kill 3, wound another in Oregon and Maryland
  • In College Park, MD, black college senior Richard Collins III was stabbed and killed in an unprovoked attack by a 22-year-old white man on the University of Maryland-College Park campus.
  • In Portland, OR, two white men were killed and another injured after intervening as a neo-Nazi white supremacist yelled anti-Muslim rhetoric at two Muslim women on a train.
  • The attacks follow a number of high-profile incidents and an uptick in reported identity-based terrorism following the election of President Donald Trump, whose campaign was marked by anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric and a willingness to court and promote white-supremacist supporters.
Read

University of Maryland Fatal Stabbing Investigated by FBI as Possible Hate Crime” (NBC News | May 2017)

Man shouting ‘anti-Muslim slurs’ fatally stabs two men in Portland” (The Guardian | May 2017)

Spread of Hate Crimes Has Lawmakers Seeking Harsher Penalties” (The New York Times | April 2017)

(Image Credit: via The Baltimore Sun)

Australia & Canada Feature | Indigenous

The Fight for Indigenous Equality, from Australia to Canada

As increased attention to negative outcomes in indigenous communities has pushed their governments to address racial disparities, Australian and Canadian indigenous advocates have drawn attention to the markedly similar ways in which English settler colonialism and systemic racial inequality unfolded in their countries. In both countries, indigenous peoples make up at least a quarter of the prison population, 40% of incarcerated children, and half of those in the child welfare system. Similar policies of forced family dissolution, detention, and delayed dismantlement of legal inequality have pushed advocates an ocean apart to come up with comparative solutions to the persistent indigenous/non-indigenous gap in their countries.

Read

‘It’s the same story’: How Australia and Canada are twinning on bad outcomes for Indigenous people” (The Guardian | April 2017)

(Image Credit: Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian)

U.S. Feature | Black Immigrants

Integrating Blackness into U.S. Immigration Justice

The surge in the visibility of anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. following the election of Donald Trump has increased the workload of immigration activists, particularly those fighting for justice for Afro-Latinx and black Muslim immigrants. In addition to broader xenophobia, black immigrant communities have been subject to broader anti-black racism that has compounded their insecurity, including disproportionate profiling and deportation, high unemployment rates, and marginalization by other immigrant communities. Recent media coverage has examined the challenges that arise at the intersection of being black and immigrant in a hostile political climate.

Read

Meet the Afro-Latinx Activists Empowering Black Immigrants” (teleSUR English | February 2017)

Black immigrants in U.S. fear profiling may drive up deportation rates” (Free Speech Radio News | February 2017)

Black Muslims Face Double Jeopardy, Anxiety In The Heartland” (NPR | February 2017)

Black and Muslim, some African immigrants feel the brunt of Trump’s immigration plans” (PRI | January 2017)

Study

The State of Black Immigrants (Black Alliance for Just Immigration + NYU School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic | 2016)

Connect & Support

Black Alliance for Just Immigration
African Communities Together
Black Immigrant Network
UndocuBlack

(Image Credit: Erik McGregor/Getty Images, via NPR)

 

Canada News | Asylum-Seekers

Spike in irregular border crossings into Canada comes as asylum-seekers bypass unfriendly U.S.
  • Asylum-seekers from countries like Ghana, Somalia, and Djibouti have endured subzero winter conditions in an attempt to cross the U.S.-Canada border, with 2017 set to outpace the last few years in irregular crossings.
  • The Canadian government has made it a point to distinguish itself from its southern neighbor, welcoming refugees officially and overseeing a popular refugee sponsorship program.
  • Many asylum-seekers have avoided official border crossing ports because of a “safe country” agreement between Canada and the U.S. that denies entry to refugees traveling from the U.S., now complicated by the Trump administration’s active refugee ban.
Read

Why So Many Refugees Are Risking Their Lives To Cross The Border Into Canada” (BuzzFeed News | February 2017)

Canada PM Trudeau pressured to tackle influx of asylum seekers over US border” (The Guardian | February 2017)

New numbers show spike in asylum seekers crossing from U.S. to Manitoba” (CBC News | January 2017)

(Image Credit: Lyle Stafford/Reuters, via The Guardian)