The Significance Of The Prison Industrial Complex In Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow

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The Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) has a significant influence on society in the United States, particularly in disadvantaged communities. It has resulted in disproportionately high rates of incarceration and serious doubts about the criminal justice system and its ability to rightfully serve the law. Michelle Alexander's novel, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, reveals the numerous historical and sociological conditions that have contributed to this situation. Undeniably, the PIC in the United States left a devastating effect on the incarcerated population as injustice prevails from the issues with racism and the cruelty of criminal justice within America. These consequences emphasize the vital importance …show more content…

Individuals residing in these areas experienced high incarceration rates and widespread mistrust about the criminal justice system's ability to serve justice. Alexander thoroughly dives into the negative effects of mass incarceration on the prison population, especially in minority populations. She explores the history and the sociological effects that have led up to and resulted in this continuous predicament. In the novel, Alexander stated, “The collateral consequences of a criminal record, such as restrictions on voting, housing, and employment, create a permanent underclass of individuals who are unable to fully participate in society.” (Alexander 140). Looking from a social aspect, the consequences of a criminal record results in immediate discrimination against those that can fully participate in society and be treated as an equal individual. It is due to their label as criminals and its negative connotation that strips them from receiving fair treatment from then on. Even after serving their time, those with a criminal record face long-term challenges in obtaining employment and housing as well as the right to vote. It is important to understand that these are basic necessities needed in order to survive in this society. It is unfair that their status becomes dwindled down to being denoted as a lesser being …show more content…

In this sense, it is obvious that the PIC system falls short of prioritizing and appropriately addressing incarcerated individuals' mental health needs. This failure has serious consequences since it can worsen underlying mental health difficulties and contribute to a recurrence cycle, undermining rehabilitation and public safety efforts. This is a critical issue that must be addressed to ensure the well-being and rehabilitation of individuals incarcerated. However, it does not hide the fact that PIC does not prioritize the mental health of inmates and provides the necessary resources. The article "Analyzing the Relationship between Mental Health Courts and the Prison Industrial Complex” by Helen Zhou and Elizabeth B. Ford, investigated how mental health courts intersect with and possibly support the prison industrial complex. According to Zhou and Ford, certain reforms that are portrayed as advancing justice may actually support and expand the authority and scope of the PIC (Zhou and Ford). The topic at hand is the PIC's authoritative influence and broad scope, as discussed by Zhou and Ford in their discourse. The focus of their debate revolves around the numerous organizations that began

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