We live in a country where one out of four young African-American men is under some form of custodial supervision. In our nation's capital, seven out of ten African-American men can anticipate being arrested and jailed at least once before reaching the age of thirty-five. We live in a city where a black man between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four is far more likely to die of homicide than all other causes combined. The official response to the problem of urban crime by minority youth has been prison, prison, and more prison. This essay provides an overview and examples of this issue and recommends approaches that might represent an improvement over current policies and laws.

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