Black Men in Prison

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A policy analyst and Milwaukee's Chief of Police offer sharply differing opinions on how law enforcement figures into why so many of Milwaukee's black men are in prison.

Center for Driver's License Recovery and Employability

One issue that’s come up repeatedly in our Project Milwaukee interviews on the imprisonment of African American males is driving privileges.

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Many of Milwaukee's poorest residents are dealing with a double-whammy when it comes to access to employment: poverty and suspended driving privileges.

Wisconsin incarcerates black men at staggering rates. WUWM's Susan Bence talks with eight men living the statistics. They are currently serving time at the Milwaukee County House of Correction in Franklin.

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Analysts and advocates say a wide variety of social and cultural factors contribute to the high rate of African American male incarceration in Wisconsin.

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A study released in spring shows the number of black men imprisoned in Wisconsin began to climb around 1990 and peaked in 2007.

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Though Wisconsin has the unfortunate distinction of having the country's highest rate of black male incarceration, it does fall in line with national trends.

Scores of adults reach out every day to help young people in some of Milwaukee's poorest neighborhoods.

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Larry Jackson's first run-in with the law was a stint in a juvenile facility at nine-years-old.  Since then, the Milwaukee man's been in and out of prison, spending about 20 years total behind bars.

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The news that Wisconsin has the highest rate in the country of incarceration among African-American men continues to reverberate and many are asking why.

In 2010, one in eight working-age black men in Wisconsin was in prison. WUWM News meets one of them.

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A UW-Milwaukee study released this year shows Wisconsin has the country’s highest rate of black male incarceration, by far.

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