Mass Incarceration In The Criminal Justice System

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Slavery, Jim Crow, the ghetto, and the carceral apparatus are all structural institutions that share a mutual beneficial relationship where each has supplemented and historically progressed into more advanced subtle forms of oppression and racism. Past and current regimes served as social functions with the objective of encompassing African Americans in a permanent subordinate position. In each generation, newer developments of a racial caste emerge with the same objective of repudiating African Americans citizenship. The only thing that has changed since Jim Crow is the language we use to justify racial exclusion (Alexander, 2). These four regimes are genealogically linked because they all advanced and developed from one another. As the generations progress, newer forms of social control, racial exclusion and oppressions develop. All of these regimes function as a racial caste system that locks a stigmatized racial group in…show more content…
It is, as Alexander explains, “a gateway into a larger system of racial stigmatization and permanent marginalization” (Alexander, 12). Mass incarceration is a larger system in which functions like Jim Crow laws that mesh people of color into a second class citizenship. Mass incarceration isn 't a term only applicable to the criminal justice system, but like past regimes, enables former prisoners, mainly people of color to be subject to “legalized discrimination and permanent social exclusion” (Alexander, 14). For example Operation Pipeline is an example of legalized discrimination that is a federally run general search program that targets people without cause for suspicion, mainly being people of color (Alexander, 71). This gives officers the consent to target and suspect people of color more than White individuals, even though they are just as likely to commit a drug offense or
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