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Whites Favored Over Blacks for Probation and Parole


March 1993

White offenders receive probation and parole more often than black offenders, according to a statistical breakdown nationally and in Oklahoma (Anthony Thornton, "Justice System Favors Whites for Leniency," Daily Oklahoman, 2/8/93, p. 1).

Nationally, 47 percent of inmates are black and another 15 percent from other minorities, compared to only 38 percent white. Fifty-two percent of those on parole are white, 47 percent black, and 1 percent from other minorities. The discrepancy is even greater for probation, where 68 percent are white compared to only 30 percent black and 2 percent from other minorities.

In Oklahoma, there are similar disparities, although the percentage of white inmates is greater than black inmates. There, 55 percent of prisoners are white, 36 percent black, and 9 percent from other minorities. Sixty-four percent of parolees are white, 30 percent black, and 6 percent from other minorities. In the area of probation, however, Oklahoma rates worse than the national average, with 69 percent of probationers white, compared to only 22 percent black and 9 percent from other minorities.