Most black Americans are under the control of the criminal justice today whether in parole or probation or whether in jail or prison. Accomplishments of the civil rights association have been challenged by mass incarceration of the African Americans in fighting drugs in the country. Although the Jim Crow laws are not so common, many African Americans are still arrested for very minor crimes. They remain disfranchised and marginalized and trapped by criminal justice that has named them felons and refuted them their rights to be free of lawful employment and discrimination and also education and other public benefits that other citizens enjoy. There is exists discernment in voting rights, employment, education and housing when it comes to privileges. In the, ‘the new Jim crow’ mass incarceration has been described to serve the same function as the post civil war Jim crow laws and pre civil war slavery. (Michelle 16) This essay would defend Michelle Alexander’s argument that mass incarcerations represent the ‘new Jim crow.’
Opponents to mass incarceration like Michelle Alexander have called it the “New Jim Crow”, a social institution aimed at limiting the rights of African Americans. Upon their release criminals are legally denied the right to vote, excluded from juries, and placed in a position of subordination. Others would suggest that, “cultural shifts, political realignments, changes in job prospects for low-skilled men, and perhaps most importantly, legal changes” have led to the severe increase and absolute disparity in the rates of black imprisonment over the late 20th and early 21st centuries. One thing is certain, mass incarceration would be justifiable if crime decreased but that is just not the case. Evidence has shown that the benefits of mass imprisonment in reducing crime have diminished over time and incarceration is now a much less effective method for crime control than it was before the 1990s. Due to factual evidence of high rates racial disparity in imprisonment, mass incarceration can be seen as a significant generator of social inequality. The history and the study of mass incarceration is important because it defines us as a society just like slavery and Jim Crow once
In the wake of President Obama’s election, the United States seems to be progressing towards a post-racial society. However, the rates of mass incarceration of black males in America deem this to be otherwise. Understanding mass incarceration as a modern racial caste system will reveal the role of the criminal justice system in creating and perpetuating racial hierarchy America. The history of social control in the United States dates back to the first racial caste systems: slavery and the Jim Crow Laws. Although these caste systems were outlawed by the 13th amendment and Civil Rights Act respectively, they are given new life and tailored to the needs of the time.In other words, racial caste in America has not ended but has merely been redesigned in the shape of mass incarceration. Once again, the fact that more than half of the young black men in many large American cities are under the control of the criminal justice system show evidence of a new racial caste system at work. The structure of the criminal justice system brings a disproportionate number of young black males into prisons, relegating them to a permanent second-class status, and ensuring there chances of freedom are slim. Even when minorities are released from prisons, they are discriminated against and most usually end up back in prisons . The role of race in criminal justice system is set up to discriminate, arrest, and imprison a mass number of minority men. From stopping, searching, and arresting, to plea bargaining and sentencing it is apparent that in every phases of the criminal justice system race plays a huge factor. Race and structure of Criminal Justice System, also, inhibit the integration of ex offenders into society and instead of freedom, relea...
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is a book by Michelle Alexander, a civil rights litigator and legal scholar. The book discusses race-related issues specific to African-American males and mass incarceration in the United States. Michelle Alexander (2010) argues that despite the old Jim Crow is death, does not necessarily means the end of racial caste (p.21). In her book “The New Jim Crow”, Alexander describes a set of practices and social discourses that serve to maintain African American people controlled by institutions. In this book her analyses is centered in examining the mass incarceration phenomenon in recent years. Comparing Jim Crow with mass incarceration she points out that mass incarceration is a network of laws, policies, customs and institutions that works together –almost invisible– to ensure the subordinate status of a group defined by race, African American (p. 178 -190).
...system that has existed in the United States or anywhere else in the world” (Alexander 234). W.E.B. Dubois argued that “The burden belongs to the nation, and the hands of none of us are clean if we bend not our energies to righting these great wrongs” (Alexander 217). Our nation must address this burden and correct that racial injustices created by our so-called criminal justice system. The criminal justice system cannot continue to hide behind the front of being a colorblind system - racial inequality and injustice must be challenged.
As Elie Wiesel once stated, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented” (“Elie Wiesel Quote”). Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow, which discusses criminal justice and its role in mass incarceration, promotes a similar idea regarding silence when America’s racial caste system needs to be ended; however, Alexander promotes times when silence would actually be better for “the tormented.” The role of silence and lack of silence in the criminal justice system both contribute to wrongly accused individuals and growing populations behind bars.
In the United States, the rate of incarceration has increased shockingly over the past few years. In 2008, it was said that one in 100 U.S. adults were behind bars, meaning more than 2.3 million people. Even more surprising than this high rate is the fact that African Americans have been disproportionately incarcerated, especially low-income and lowly educated blacks. This is racialized mass incarceration. There are a few reasons why racialized mass incarceration occurs and how it negatively affects poor black communities.
Politically speaking, neoconservative racial projects deny the significance of race, which produces colorblind racial politics and policies that do not account for the ways in which race and racism still structure society. For example, legal scholar and civil rights attorney Michelle Alexander demonstrates in her book, The New Jim Crow, how the seemingly race-neutral “war on drugs” has been waged in a racist way due to racial biases in policing, legal proceedings, and sentencing, all of which result in the vast overrepresentation of black and Latino men in U.S. prisons. This colorblind racial project represents race as inconsequential in society, and suggests that those who find themselves in prison are simply criminals who deserve to be there.
Professor Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, writes that a racial caste system existing in America reflect the Jim Crow laws that were "separate but equal" from the time of the Civil War until the passage of the Civil Rights Acts in the mid 1960's and which continue today. She is a graduate from Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University and clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the United States Supreme Court and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Subsequently, she was on the faculty of Sanford Law School serving as the Director of the Civil Rights Clinic before receiving a Soros Justice Fellowship and an appointment to the Moritz College of Law and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University. Professor Alexander has litigated civil rights cases in private practice while associated with at Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller law firm, with additional advocacy through the non-profit sector, as the Director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California.
Michelle Alexander starts by talking about a guy named Jarvis Cotton’s who father, father's father, and fathers father father didnt couldn't vote because of Klu Klux Klan intimidation and poll taxes. Cotton couldn't vote either because of a felony conviction. Our country coerced African-American males as a key to the original union; even at this period in time black males aren't still able to vote due to their criminal backgrounds. They are faced with prejudices not just in the criminal system but also in housing, employment, voting, food stamps, jury service much like what blacks were faced with when the Jim Crow laws were enacted. Alexander was delighted when we got our first black president Barack Obama and thought of Jim Crow as being a thing of the past. Alexander hadn't noticed a new racist social system, and when she began working for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) she seen that there was racism in the criminal justice system but that was it.However she found more like the War on Drugs that a lot of people think got started during the epidemic crack in the eighties and nineties, but then president Ronald Reagan actually declared it before the drug got all over the news. Also surprisingly the so-called War on Drugs began when the country was seeing a decrease in illegal drug usage.The war made the United States incarceration rate higher than anywhere else.
According to statistics since the early 1970’s there has been a 500% increase in the number of people being incarcerated with an average total of 2.2 million people behind bars. The increase in rate of people being incarcerated has also brought about an increasingly disproportionate racial composition. The jails and prisons have a high rate of African Americans incarcerated with an average of 900,000 out of the 2.2 million incarcerateed being African American. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics 1 in 6 African American males has been incarcerated at some point in time as of the year 2001. In theory if this trend continues it is estimated that about 1 in 3 black males being born can be expected to spend time in prison and some point in his life. One in nine African American males between the ages of 25 and 29 are currently incarcerated. Although the rate of imprisonment for women is considerably lower than males African American women are incarc...
Even though racism has always been a problem since the beginning of time, recently in the United States, there has been a rise in discrimination and violence has been directed towards the African American minority primarily from those in the white majority who believe they are more superior, especially in our criminal justice system. There are many different reasons for the ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system between the majority and the minority, but some key reasons are differential involvement, individual racism, and institutional racism to why racial disparities exist in
These authors’ arguments are both well-articulated and comprehensive, addressing virtually every pertinent concept in the issue of explaining racially disparate arrest rates. In The Myth of a Racist Criminal Justice System, Wilbanks insists that racial discrimination in the criminal justice system is a fabrication, explaining the over-representation of African Americans in arrest numbers simply through higher incidence of crime. Walker, Spohn and DeLone’s The Color of Justice dissents that not only are African Americans not anywhere near the disproportionate level of crime that police statistics would indicate, they are also arrested more because they are policed discriminately. Walker, Spohn and DeLone addi...
The New Jim Crow Review: I agree with Michelle Alexander on her view of mass incarceration, as well as the new racial caste system that has evolved in the United States. She states that, “we have not ended racial caste in America, we have merely redesigned it”. After reading her book The New Jim Crow, her point of view on the age of colorblindness is extremely bold. Over time, it has developed into many forms. Racial systems have evolved from exploitation, to subordination, to marginalization.