If you encounter an Asian walking down a dark alleyway in Virginia, you probably don’t have anything to fear. If you bump into an Hispanic in a dark alleyway, you still don’t have much to fear. Both racial/ethnic groups are significantly less likely to wind up in Virginia prisons than other groups, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections latest demographic report about the state’s 30,000 prison population. Some highlight factoids:
- More than three-fifths of the population is black, nearly two fifths white.
- Asians or native Americans in Virginia prisons account for one-half percent of prison inmates. That compares to a state population of 6.5%.
- For all the overblown fears of illegal immigrants breeding crime, only 2.1% of Virginia’s prison population is Hispanic. That compares to 8.2% of the population in the state.
- Roughly 18% of prison inmates are “confirmed gang members.”
- More than nine out of ten (92%) inmates are male, raising the question, does our society systematically stigmatize and discriminate against males in our society? (Don’t worry, that’s not a serious question. Just a tweeker.)