DON THOMPSON Associated Press SACRAMENTO (AP) — Racial disparities have narrowed across the U.S. criminal justice system over 16 years, though black people are still significantly more likely to be behind bars than white people, new federal figures show. Racial gaps broadly declined in local jails, state prisons, and among people on probation and parole, according to the study released Tuesday by the nonpartisan Council on Criminal Justice. The divide in state imprisonment rates dropped for all major crimes but was most pronounced for drug offenses — a key driving factor for the racial shift. Black people were 15 times more likely than white people to be in state prisons for drug crimes in 2000, but that dropped to five times as likely by 2016, the most recent year available. Man
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