Each section goes in depth about a certain topic. The topics that stood out the most to me while I was reading and taking notes were; the idea of the New Jim Crow, the war on drugs and mass incarceration. These topics stood out the most to me because Michelle Alexander proves how they relate to the Jim Crow Laws established during the Reconstruction Era. The two chapters that I read were titled “The Rebirth of Caste” (Chapter 1) and “The Lockdown” ( Chapter 2). These two chapters tackle the controversial topic of the new racism living today and also the war on drugs.
What a concept. The "land of the free" is home to 25% of the worlds' prison population. That's a lot of people behind bars with their hands in shackles for this to be the land of the free. Now, as I had previously mentioned, the term "mass incarceration" was coined in the 70's to describe the beginning of an era in which people are arrested in dramatically high numbers. During former US president Richard Nixon's time in office, he took on the war on crime and the war on drugs.
Most of the elderly are in prison for different cases. 14% are sentenced for fraud, larceny, burglary, breaking and entering, and traffic and public violations. 26% sentenced for drug crimes and 65% are non-violent, property
(Lee page 273). This quote was said by Atticus, during the time of Tom Robinson’s trial for the accusation that he raped Mayella Ewell. This quote is significant because Atticus is saying that not all people are bad, and that accusations like this should not be placed solely on one race; everyone has their flaws, and it is unfair to make such accusations based on the color of a person’s skin. Harper Lee has shown us many examples of racism that were present in her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. She has shown us how challenging it was for the characters to survive in this “black versus white” society.
Incarceration refers to the constitutional deprivation of an offender the capacity to commit crimes by detaining them in prisons. The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any free nation. The U.S incarcerates five times more people than the United Kingdom, nine times more than Germany and twelve times more than Japan (Collier, 2014, p.56). Incarceration has several objectives. One of these is to keep persons suspected of committing a crime under secure control before a court of competent jurisdiction determines whether they are guilty or innocent.
Over time, I can only imagine what it turns them into. We are a country that has the highest population of incarcerated humans. Unfortunately, we have begun to spend more on the prison system than educating the children of America. This very alarming and saddening. If we are not trying our hardest to make sure that children of America are learning to the best of their abilities, what is going to stop them from showing up in jail also.
Yet, still today many will continue to judge based upon looks or religion or hate just too easily convict others of crimes they didn’t commit. In the years from 1600s until now millions of people are affected by the act of profiling. From the witch hunt trials to the events after 9/11 and furthermore. It is still unjustifiable to target specific groups for achieving justice in society for a person’s specific beliefs. In today times “To argue that racial profiling is harmless, that it only hurts those who break the law, is to totally ignore the psychological and social damage that can result from always being considered one of the “usual suspects.”
This book should be read because it can help make aware of the religious ignorance in the country. To a reader of minority religion, it can allow them to understand why most people act the way they do towards their
Today, America is an ignorant society, many believe that racism has ended throughout every corners of the world and this is far from the truth. American society likes to pretend, they also like to believe in the virtue of this country. We tend to think and believe that racism is a thing from the past and Racism is everywhere in the country and in this world it causes so much racial tensions from people with the a different skin color to religions to race and gives people so many to question how far we have really come from the days of ‘slavery’. These issues can actually be seen in a daily life from papers saying “police force violence against minorities” the well studied arguments on immigration and the obvious separations of urban neighborhoods in large cities. The negative behavior on people generations to generation and discrimination to others is ignorance about a person’s life.
In the documentary, 13th, Michelle Alexander brings up a profound realization about how racism has adapted since slavery. Alexander protests that, “So, many aspects of the old Jim Crow laws are suddenly legal again once you are branded a felon. And so it seems that in America we haven’t so much ended racial caste, but simply redesigned it.” Basically what Alexander is saying is that even though people of color have the same rights by law, people of color are not treated as equals. Racism is defined as “primarily a belief or attitude and that anyone who unfairly judges another based on race is racist.”
(Michelle Alexander, 2010:58) The three strikes law targeted the communities affluent with minority groups. At the turn of the 21st century the majority that entered the prison system were African Americans and Latinos. (Michelle Alexander, 2010) The reason behind mass incarceration was due to the crack down on the deteriorating communities where the majority of minorities lived. Authors Scott Ehlers, Vincent Schiraldi and Jason Ziedenberg of Still Striking Out: Ten Years of California’s Three Strikes (2004) report that African Americans in prison because of the three strike law is higher per every 100,000 African American than Whites and Latinos in California. (U.S. Census Bureau
By the government allowing corporations to buy, and build new prisons gave that much more of an incentive to keep the prisons flowing with inmates. According to Vicky Pelaez “Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. Private prisons receive a guaranteed amount of money for each prisoner, independent of what it costs to maintain each one.” (6) Once you get trapped inside this prison machine they can and will work for cents a day.
As a result of the war on drugs, the total number of individuals incarcerated went from 581,000 in 1980 to 1,584,000 by 1997. Strict drug laws have caused incarceration rates to escalate at an alarming pace over the last 40 years. According to the Bureau of Justice Statics, in 1996 the African American incarceration rate was 1,574 per 100,000, seven times higher than the rate for Whites. Researchers have discovered that the war on drugs has led to the overcrowding of African Americans in the prison system (Lurigio & Loose, 2008).
In 2010 prisons were over with about 2.2 million incarcerated Americans, on average every prison was over capacity by 14 percent, there are even some prisons that were over capacity by 34 percent. Annually the government spends roughly 60 million dollars on the correctional system and with the rise of amount if people being incarcerated that number will also greatly rise, thus depleting our budgets as well as our society as a whole (English, 2010). Prison philosophy is of prevention, deterrence and retribution, however according to Gudaris “the rehabilitative effect of long term incarceration appears to be negligible. Most imprisoned individuals will be released at some point and will reoffend” (Gudaris, 2013). Many criminals and gangs use prisons as a headquarters to recruit new members and run operations for their personal benefits.
is to let felons have the right to vote like anyone else. It is a right that everyone should have as long as they can show they have changed to fit in with the general population. Everyone who says that those who broke the law cannot pick those who make it, doesn’t realize that there are plenty of people who will break the law or has already done so and they still have their right to vote, rather they just haven’t been caught or just been charged with a misdemeanor. The worst that can happen if felons have the right to vote is we get more democrats in the white house since most felons are democrats themselves. Over all the U.S. needs to put the power of election in the hands of the citizens rather the citizen be a felon or