GEOGRAPHY OF POVERTY: BIG CITY
In the final chapter published on MSNBC, we concentrate on urban America. Philadelphia is the poorest big city in America and has the nation’s highest incarceration rate with more than 7,300 of its citizens locked up. A staggering 60% of the cities jail population is made up of non-violent suspects who are still awaiting trial and of those, 72% are African American. Shocking as that is, the city is not an outlier. Despite being home to less than 5% of earth’s population, the U.S. houses nearly 25% of the world’s prison population, making it the world’s leading jailer. Of the 2.3 million Americans currently incarcerated by the country’s sprawling criminal justice system, more than 40% are black and overwhelmingly poor. Mass incarceration has been a disruptive force that has upended many black communities and left generations of families hobbled.