The New Jim Crow: A Case Study

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Racial Disparities Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, points out that segregation transitioned from having to break through racial barriers to punitive laws designed to control African American communities. During the civil rights movement the unemployment rates increased among the African American population, which was the same time the population of young fifteen to twenty four year old age group spiked, results from the “baby boom” generation. (Michelle Alexander, 2010: 47) This was the reporting age group that caused crime in America according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Michelle Alexander, 2010) The criminal-justice system focused on African American communities that had fallen behind during the rise of unemployment.…show more content…
This new law caused an increase from an estimated 300,000 to 2 million prison inmates over the course of the last two decades. (Michelle Alexander, 2010) According to Rebecca C. Hatey and Jennifer L. Eberhdt of Stanford University, California holds only 7% of African American population but 45% of California’s prison inmates are African American under the three strikes law. (Racial Disparities in Incarceration Increase Acceptance of Punitive Policies 2014) Michelle Alexander writes that the mass incarceration of the 1990’s created a new “racial caste system” and extreme funding for the criminal system. (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
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