African-Americans make up 90 percent of the people incarcerated for drug offenses in Maryland and three-quarters of the prison population growth over the past three decades, according to a new study reported Thurday by the Baltimore Sun.
The study, commissioned by the Legislative Black Caucus, shows that African-Americans were sent to state prisons at 18 times the rates of whites from 1986 to 1999.
Blacks make up 28 percent of Maryland’s population and 76 percent of those in prison, according to the study.
“The main finding is that the war on drugs in Maryland is falling almost exclusively on people of color,” said Vincent Schiraldi, executive director of the Justice Policy Institute and co-author of the report.
The Sun said the report puts Maryland third — behind New York and New Jersey — in the proportion of prison admissions that are for drug offenses: 42 percent.