Mass Incarceration In The Criminal Justice System

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Michelle Alexander’s use of “Jim Crow” is a viable and useful analogy to describe the current American criminal justice system and mass incarceration. I believe our criminal justice system does not truly define justice or fairness. Also, I agree on the fact that while old “Jim Crow” laws may be dead; the current justice system serves many of the same purposes of those laws. Today, mass incarceration is the biggest issue in our criminal justice system, for mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow. Mass incarceration is a system that locks people not only behind actual bars in actual prisons, but also behind virtual bars and virtual walls-walls that are invisible to the naked eye, but function nearly as effectively as Jim Crow laws once did at locking people of color into permanent second class citizenship (Alexander, 2012, p.12-13). The class of V100 taught me that the war on drugs is the leading cause of the prison boom in our country. A power-point slide from professor Jones, claims that approximately half a million people are in prison or jail for drug offense today compared to an estimated 41,000 in 1980. Drug offenders in the United States spend more time under the criminal justice system’s formal control—in jail or prison, on probation or parole – than drug offenders anywhere else in the world (Alexander, 2012, p.186). Here Michelle…show more content…
If we had actually learned to show love, care, compassion, and concern across racial lines during the Civil Rights movement – rather than go colorblind—mass incarceration would not exist today (Alexander, 2012, p.177). Nowadays, that would be considered police discretion. In J101, police discretion was one of the main topics discussed. Police have the right to decide whom they want to arrest. In most cases, if the victim is white, then there is a greater likelihood that a black person, or other minority will be
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