ATLANTA (AP) -- Data from the Georgia Department of Corrections says the number of black inmates in 2013 reached its lowest level since 1988.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports state corrections data shows the number of black men sent to prison in the past five years declined by 19 percent and the number of black women sent to prison in the same time period dropped by 33 percent.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Deputy Director Russell Andrews says the drop may be linked to a large decline in crack cocaine use and Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard says improving economic conditions may also be a factor.
GBI Director Vernon Keenan says the change in incarceration statistics is linked to acceptance of drug courts and rehabilitation initiatives for drug addicts instead of harsh sentences.
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