Racial bias in the criminal justice system is rampant. African
American men, in particular, are overrepresented in all criminal
justice statistics: arrests, victimization, incarceration and
This imbalance is largely the result of the "war on drugs."
Although studies show that drug use among blacks and whites is
comparable, many more blacks than whites are arrested on drug
charges. Why? because the police find it easier to concentrate their
forces in inner city neighborhoods, where drug dealing tends to take
place on the streets, than to mount more costly and demanding
investigations in the suburbs, where drug dealing generally occurs
behind closed doors. Today, one in four young black men is are under
some form of criminal sanction, be it incarceration, probation or
Because many of these laws include drug offenses as prior "strikes,"
more black than white offenders will be subject to life sentences
under a "3 Strikes" law.