The present research has identified that if only black males of college age are considered then much fewer are in prison rather than in school. Also, the number of black males telecommuting, taking classes online, cannot be quantified. This is why some studies show slightly more black males in prison than in college. Still, this clarification does not lessen the astonishing realization that something is very wrong about a society where such a disproportion exists in its criminal justice and educational systems.
Realizing this unfortunate reality of our society is the objective of the question. The answer begs the question of why. A one-word reaction might be racism. Institutional racism, Jim Crow laws of the South, for example, has been outlawed for more than half a century but, rather ironically, racism within the nation’s justice system continues and is the root cause for as many black men being in prison as in college. Anyone who has turned into to watch the documentary of a prison, even for just a few minutes becomes instantly aware that black males are disproportionately represented within the prison population.
Black males comprise approximately 6.5 percent of the general population yet one-third of the prison population, more than any other ethnic group. When classified according to ethnicity, a broad disparity within the justice system is obvious. “At midyear 2003 there were 4,834 black male prisoners per 100,000 black males in the United States in prison or jail, compared to 1,778 Hispanic male inmates per 100,000 Hispanic males and 681 white male inmates per 100,000 white males”. This overrepresentation of black males in prison is the opposite of that within institutions of higher learning.
Of all ethnic groups, black males experience the lowest graduation rate.