Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Race, Class, and Gender of Prisoners
Race, class, and gender powerfully influence our life chances, shaping where we go to school, work, and reside, whom we marry, and how long we live. They intersect in numerous complex ways, both within the prison and outside. Prisoners are disproportionately likely to be poor, male, and members of minority groups, particularly African American and Latino(a). To that extent, the penal population does not reflect the outside community at all. In 1997, Erik Olin Wright estimated that 50% to 60% of the U.S. population were working class, since they were employees who neither owned nor controlled capital. Members of the owner class made up about 15% of the population, while capitalists employing 10 or more people represent 1% to 2% of U.S. citizens. The remaining percentages Wright divided among various professional-managerial class fractions. Of the 281,421,906 persons the U.S. Census Bureau counted in 2000, 75.1% were white, 12.5% were Hispanic ...