Mass Incarceration And Its Current Characteristics Essay

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It is debatable when trying to determine when Mass Incarceration truly began. Most experts argue that it started during the 1970’s, around the time the war on drugs was declared; however African Americans were targeted and viewed as convicts after slavery was abolished (Graff, 2015). In order to better understand Mass Incarceration and its current characteristics, one must analyze the history of what contributed to racial inequality.
One of the many contributions to racial inequality was Slavery; slavery also marked the beginning of the concept of race in the United States (Alexander, 2012). At first glance, the definition of slavery seems self-explanatory, despite this assumption its definition is still widely debated. In 1922 the definition of Slavery was established by the League of Nations as: “the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised” (Nation, 1926). According to Kevin Bales he defines slavery as: “The complete control of a person, for economic exploitation, by violence, or the threat of violence” (Bales & Robbins , 2001). Based on both definitions, slavery can be understood as: when someone is able to force an individual to carry out their will, because of their ownership and power over them. Their ownership helps justify their inhumane treatment towards the slave, due to the slaves’ lack of legal/social rights.
Since the definition of slavery is established as having sovereignty and…

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