Lament and Hope: A Pan African Quad-Centennial Devotional Guide - Page 28

Lament and
Hope in Angola
A History of
Immigration and
Source: Joseph Molieri for Bread for the World
Our country’s state prison population has grown by more than 700 percent since the 1970s.
Many people are in jail or prison because of harsh laws and minimum sentencing requirements
for drug offenses. The so-called “War on Drugs,” was first launched in 1971 by the Nixon
administration. The people imprisoned, particularly for drug offenses, came disproportionately
from the African American community and other communities of color. Incarceration directly
and indirectly influences income and wealth. Today, 13 states have prison populations that
are more than half African American. Mass incarceration costs taxpayers up to $182 billion
each year. Returnees who find jobs are usually very poorly paid. One in five people returning
from prison or jail earns less than $7,600 a year, which puts them and their families in “deep
poverty,” a formal term meaning that they live on less than half of the poverty-level income.
Source: Bread for the World’s Racial Wealth Gap Policy Packet (
LAMENT and HOPE: A Pan-African Devotional Guide


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