This link says it all. For example, in Massachusetts, African-Americans are about 7% of the population but almost 30% of the inmates.
Here it is, state by state: http://www.scribd.com/doc/9381…
Probably someone could pull this as a cut and paste.
But we now incarcerate, nationally, 1 of 142 in our population. The cost is $48k a year each.
The disproportionate impact is eye popping.
And so is the economic impact. Some wizard could figure out how many days each year I work just to pay for prisons. A lot.