The Importance Of Mass Incarceration

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Mass incarceration is lots of people that are in jail. The amount of prisoners incarcerated has grown 8 times the number of incarceration in the 70’s to 2.2 million then back when it was 200,000 to 300,000 in the 1970s, that without counting probation which jumps the number to 6.8 million that are either in jail or on probation (Last Week Tonight). Since 2001, 1 in 6 black men has been incarcerated at some point in their life and other parts of the United States, for example, Washington D.C. 1 in 3 black men at some point will serve time (Mauer and King 1). Due to this black men make up 900,000 of the 2.2 million of the prisoner population in jail, also, It is estimated that 1 in 6 Hispanic men will at some point be incarcerated (Mauer and…show more content…
The “New Jim Crow” talks about how society uses Jim Crow as a legal way to segregate itself from criminals, not by race or color, but Michelle Alexander says it really segregation based on race just like the Old Jim Crow. So Alexander goes to question if we locked up as many white men and women as there are of black and Hispanic in the system, what would society say?. Alexander believes that the War on Drugs started before the crack epidemic and the epidemic was used to justify the arrests targeting minorities. Ronald Reagan announced the War on Drugs before it became a problem, it then became a problem after the war was declared (Alexander 2). Michelle Alexander believes that being in prison affects you even after serving your time, that the criminal justice system is a gateway to all social control. For example things like work becomes difficult to find after prison, your right to vote is automatically taken away with a felony arrest/record, and also, you are denied any government help (public housing, food stamps, etc..)(Alexander 6 ). All these things create a permanent under caste, which is a group locked into an inferior position by law/or custom. She says that minorities, especially men, locked into ghettos forever by the criminal justice and it’s consequences. Like Jim Crow (and slavery), mass incarceration operates as a tightly networked system of laws, politics, customs, and institutions that operate collectively to ensure the subordinate status of groups of a group defined largely by race (Alexander
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