The Jail: Managing The Underclass In American Society

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In The Jail: Managing the Underclass in American Society Irwin discusses rabble, crime and the jail extensively. Throughout the book Irwin tends to connect the concepts to one another showing how each concept is dependent on the other. Irwin postulates that a “high percentage of the jail’s intake could be eliminated through decriminalization”. (Irwin, Chp.7) By including this statement I believe that Irwin is asserting that the law is not always effective in dealing with all forms of criminals and crime. The criminal justice system is so quick to incarcerate someone who commits a crime without realizing that many that are currently in jail could’ve been “diverted” before they even went to trial. Irwin also conveys the idea that many of the United States’ jails need to be reformed. Irwin states “Reform proposals like these have been made many times during the last twenty years, and yet with a few exceptions they have not been implemented, and jails have remained the same or even worse”. (Irwin, Chp.7) Jail should be a way for criminals to pay their dues to society while …show more content…
But, Alexander discusses the effects that jail has on a person after they are released while in the of The Jail Irwin tends to focus on the jail itself and the people who are often criminalized. Alexander also discusses the war on drugs and it’s effects extensively throughout The New Jim Crow but Irwin fails to discuss how huge of an impact the war on drugs has on mass incarceration. Instead Irwin discusses how cops tend to go after criminals who commit petty crimes more frequently than those who commit serious crimes in the The Jail. Despites the differences both novels raise awareness of mass incarceration and shed light to the overlooked issues of racial

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