The New Jim Crow : Mass Incarceration Essay
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness was written by civil rights litigator, legal scholar and author Michelle Alexander. The book discusses the history of race and mass incarceration in the United States specific to African American man. Alexander argues, “We have not ended racial caste in America, we have merely redesigned it” (pg. 2), there has been a rebirth of a caste system in the form of mass incarceration since the years of slavery, Jim Crow laws and black codes. This book focuses on the increase of mass incarceration within the last few decades. Alexander compares the old Jim Crow to mass incarceration by stating “mass incarceration operates as a tightly networked system of laws, policies, customs, and institutions that operate collectively to ensure the subordinate status of a group defined largely by race” (pg. 13). Incarceration is used as a tool to not rehabilitate individuals, but rather used to oppress and keep men of color as the status quo. Alexander also introduces other topics that are prominent to racism and the criminal justice system in the United States including privatization and profits being made because of prisons, perceptions of black men and black communities.
Michelle Alexander (2010) introduces the book discussing a young, African American man, who cannot vote. “Like his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and…