Race and the Three Strikes Law

  1. Incarceration
  2. Race and Inequality

Key Findings

  • Three strikes laws disproportionately affect minorities.
  • Implementation of three strikes laws accelerated racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
  • The black incarceration rate for third strikers is 12 times higher than the third strike incarceration rate for whites.


­­­In the chapter Race and the Three Strikes Law of the book “Color Behind Bars: Racism in the U.S. Prison System”, Van Gundy and her coauthor argue that three strikes legislation has contributed to the mass incarceration of nonviolent offenders, a majority of which are minorities.

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