Program addresses mass incarceration of African Americans

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A serious discussion about alarming rates of mass incarceration across the nation took place in Metro Detroit Saturday afternoon.

Members of the criminal justice system gathered at Triumph Church’s West Campus in Northville to discuss the status of black incarceration in America, which organizers call “alarming.”

Project Fifty-Fifty seeks to tackle the disparities between minority and majority incarceration rates through education and action.

While the rates of federal imprisonment in 2015 were the lowest they had been since 2005, gaps between various racial groups were dramatic.

1,745 Black-Americans per 100,000 were imprisoned in 2015 compared to 820 per 100,000 for Hispanic Americans and 312 per 100,000 for White Americans.

“Right now in America we use the criminal justice system… policing and incarceration to solve so many of our social ills,” Keith Mcquirter, producer- director of “Milwaukee 53206” said. “That is a choice we make.”

Mcquirter decided he would  go to Milwaukee because of the high rates of black men incarcerated there.

He featured community activist Muhibb Dyer, who has a conversation with an orange jumpsuit about the mythology surrounding prison for many youngsters in urban settings. “You want to own a fortune 500 company naw… that’s for the smart people of the world,” Dyer says looking at his suit.

Dyer believes that through these types of poetic engagements he and others can help engage youth to make better choices.   

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