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Study finds high incarceration rates in SD

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By Northern Plains News

South Dakota has the second highest incarceration rate of Native American men and the fourth highest rate of incarceration of Hispanic men.

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Those were among the findings of a recent study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee titled “Wisconsin’s Mass Incarceration of African-American Males: Workforce Challenges for 2013.”

The study focuses on the impact of incarceration of black men in the Wisconsin state penal system and its effect on their ability to find meaningful employment following release. However, in compiling

the study, researchers John Pawasarat and Lois M. Quinn, of the Employment and Training Institute at UW-Milwaukee, also looked at national incarceration statistics for various male ethnic groups.

The national average for incarceration of Native American men aged 18 to 64, according to the study, is 3.1 percent. In South Dakota, the rate is 7.3 percent. Only Wisconsin had a higher Native American male incarceration rate at 7.6 percent.

For Hispanic men, the national incarceration rate is 2 percent. In South Dakota, the rate is 3.3 percent. Pennsylvania has the highest Hispanic male incarceration rate at 4.4 percent.

The rate of incarceration for black men nationally is 6.7 percent of the adult male population. In South Dakota, the rate is below the national average at 5.9 percent. Wisconsin leads the nation with the highest percentage of black men in prison at 12.8 percent.

For white men, 1.3 percent of the male adult population is behind bars. South Dakota is just below the average at 1.2 percent. Oklahoma has the highest white male incarceration rate at 2.3 percent.

The study did not examine the incarceration rates for women by racial group.

The study did look at the overall population incarceration rate among nations, taking into account men, women and children.

According to the study, the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with an average of 716 people per 100,000 in population incarcerated. At the other end, India has 30 people per 100,000 in population incarcerated.

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