US News and World Report named Iowa the best state in the country. Our governor is all about this. And I too love Iowa, with its farms and its schools and its space. I especially love Iowa City, which Livibility ranked as the #2 most livable town in the country, and which UNESCO ranks as one of the most literary settlements in the world. But here’s something few people mention. (I’ve quoted it from my church’s bulletin): “The Sentencing Project, which compiles state-level criminal justice data from a variety of sources, tells us that the racial disparity in incarceration rates for black and white U.S. residents in the state of Iowa is 11.1:1”
After further research through the Sentencing Project, I’ve learned that the national sentencing average of black males vs. white males is 6:1. (I don’t know about females–but I assume the ratio is comparable.)
None of these stats is good, of course. But it’s clear that Iowa–that abolitionist bastion–has a problem.
(Originally posted April 15, 2018)