War on drugs, a campaign for the prohibition of drugs using military aid and military intervention gave birth to mass incarceration. Unfortunately, the consequences of this campaign targeted minorities and people of color, who are in disadvantage. Mass incarceration promotes devastating effects in society, such as racial inequality and poverty. Michelle Alexander, a civil rights litigator and legal scholar is the author of “The New Jim Crow” Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.This book purposed to educate people about of mass incarceration that originated due to the war on the drug's movement, as well as to point out the racist system. Michelle Alexander asserts: As we all shall see, there is a certain pattern
In the article, Unwinding Mass Incarceration by Stefan Lobuglio and Anne Piehl, they argue that unwinding the mass incarceration “well neither be cheap nor easy, and to be done responsibly will require a new infrastructure of coordinated community-based facilities and services that can meet evidence-based incarceration needs while also ensuring public safety.” Hence, their argument is clean-cut with evidence in the article to back up their argument of unwinding the mass incarceration. Similarly, a solid fill of a concluding statement upon the unwinding of the mass incarceration as stated in the article, “requires much more than stopping current practices or reversing course by mass commutations and early release programs.” Subsequently, from this article, there are numerous interesting key points, and perspective of unwinding the mass incarceration.
Michelle Alexander - The New Jim Crow In “The New Jim Crow”, author Michelle Alexander argues that the war on drugs is just an excuse to target African Americans and keep millions of black people in poverty or in jail. Alexander thinks that racism is still very prevalent in today’s world. She believes that the criminal justice system uses the system of mass incarceration to control black people and exclude them from the political process. Many African American people are not allowed to vote because they have gone to jail and they are labeled felons for life.
In her article “The New Jim Crow,” Michelle Alexander powerfully argues that the American prison system has become a redesigned form of disenfranchisement of poor people of color and compares it to the racially motivated Jim Crow laws. She supports her assertions through her experiences as a civil rights lawyer, statistical facts about mass incarceration, and by comparing the continued existence of racial discrimination in America today to the segregation and discrimination during the Jim Crow laws. Alexander’s purpose is to reveal the similarities of the discriminatory and segregating Jim Crow laws to the massive influx of incarceration of poor people of color in order to expose that racism evolves to exist in disguised, yet acceptable forms
The article I have chosen to write about is, The War on Drugs Is a War on Black Americans, by Jean-Gabriel Fernandez. The author discusses the long-standing issue of racial discrimination in the United States' criminal justice system, specifically regarding the war on drugs. It argues that the war on drugs is a war on black Americans, as they have been disproportionately impacted by the harsh laws and policies surrounding drug use and possession. The article highlights the historical context of drug laws in the U.S. and how they have been used to specifically target and criminalize black communities, while white drug users and sellers have largely been ignored or given lesser punishments. The author also discusses the negative impacts of these
In 2010, historian Heather Thompson published the paper, “Why Mass Incarceration Matters: Rethinking Crisis, Decline, and Transformation in Postwar American History. Within this comprehensive article, Thompson analyzes the social and economic effects of mass incarceration in the last third of the twentieth-century, and explains why historians must take on this important aspect of American history. The three areas she analyzes concern mass incarceration and the origins of the urban crisis, the decline of the American Labor Movement, and the rise of the Right in postwar America. Not only did (does) mass incarceration permanently criminalize individuals in society and deter them from reaching their full potential, it also negatively impacted urban
In her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, author Michelle Alexander explores complex themes of oppression, discrimination, and how the United States criminal justice system has been disproportionately affecting Black communities for decades. Alexander outlines and analyzes the rise and fall of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and mass incarceration, as well as the War on Drugs and how the prison system continues to put Black men in bondage. Alongside this, she explores the limitations that incarceration places on Black men, the impact this has on their lives, and how society can work to combat the system. The novel is particularly relevant to the field of community psychology, as it highlights several ways that incarceration has affected the well-being and communities of those in bondage.
Alexander uncovers the system of mass incarceration. A system of laws, rules, policies, and customs that control criminals both in prison and out of prison. The book also highlights major themes and issues in society today such as racism, inequality, and social justice. Alexander uses statistics and legal citations to argue that the approach Nixon administered, which was more of a get-tough approach to crime, and Reagan’s declaration of the War on Drugs, has devastated African Americans. The main idea that Alexander tries to make is that beginning with slavery and continuing with Jim Crow segregation, mass incarceration places entire groups of people of color into discriminatory positions in society,
She first supports her claim by chronicling America 's history of institutionalized racism and systematic disenfranchisement of African Americans. Then, she discusses America 's War on Drugs that disproportionately targets minorities and finally as she examines the hardship faced by felons she compares and contrasts Jim Crow Laws to mass incarceration. Alexander surmises that mass incarceration is designed to maintain white supremacy and sustain a racial classification system. Alexander 's book is relevant to my research paper because she provides evidence that the criminal justice system is rooted in racism and directly linked to the racist agenda of the white supremacist. Broussard, B. (2015).
Since the drug economy is prevalent in these communities, it makes sense for these individuals to turn to them. The final issue to address on the topic of mass incarceration of minorities is the policy change that is needed to fix the issues. First, localized policing has been a solution called for since the Black Panther Party in the 1970s. Having better control of communities could help prevent police shootings and backlash like seen in the riots in Ferguson, MO.
From the infamous Rockefeller Drug laws that sentenced people to the mandatory 15 year sentence for possession or selling of drugs to the militarization of your local police station, the War on Drugs effect has been felt nearly everywhere in the country. Negatively affected with the drawn out War on Drugs, African-Americans still suffer from its effects
Michelle Alexander, similarly, points out the same truth that African American men are targeted substantially by the criminal justice system due to the long history leading to racial bias and mass incarceration within her text “The New Jim Crow”. Both Martin Luther King Jr.’s and Michelle Alexander’s text exhibit the brutality and social injustice that the African American community experiences, which ultimately expedites the mass incarceration of African American men, reflecting the current flawed prison system in the U.S. The American prison system is flawed in numerous ways as both King and Alexander points out. A significant flaw that was identified is the injustice of specifically targeting African American men for crimes due to the racial stereotypes formed as a result of racial formation. Racial formation is the accumulation of racial identities and categories that are formed, reconstructed, and abrogated throughout history.
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
Thao Tran Professor Aboulian English 1C 21 March 2017 The War on Drugs: A Rhetorical Analysis The War on Drugs, which was declared by President Nixon in 1971, efforts to control drug use and sales in inner-city neighborhoods. The government has been recently targeting poor communities of color. In 1980, the skyrocketing drug arrests reflected a surge in illegal drug activity. In The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, the author also stated that “huge cash grants were made to those law enforcement agencies that were willing to make drug-law enforcement a top priority” (73).
Violence is an ongoing problem, moreover one cannot argue that the incarceration in the United States has increased in the last two decades. Youth incarceration in particularly, has become a problem that is affecting our society today. One can question if incarceration of young adults impacts their future by the chance of criminal activity reoccurrence. When young adults commit criminal acts they get labelled, criminal. Labelling goes a long way, especially for young adult.
(Wormer) During the war on drugs, people, more specifically african americans, were getting arrested for minor drug offenses. And when this plan was first started it was a way to specifically target minorities, mainly african americans. “African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population... African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites” (NAACP)