In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal star Michelle Alexander reveals, today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination—employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service—are suddenly legal.
Featured on The Tavis Smiley Show, Bill Moyers Journal, Democracy Now, and C-Span’s Washington Journal, The New Jim Crow has become an overnight phenomenon, sparking a much-needed conversation—including a recent mention by Cornel West on Real Time with Bill Maher&mdas;about ways in which our system of mass incarceration has come to resemble systems of racial control from a different era.
Los hispanoamericanos están ampliamente representados en este sistema de encarcelamiento masivo que Alexander describe: 15 por ciento de todos los latinos en Estados Unidos dicen que ellos o alguien de su familia inmediata ha sido arrestado dentro de los últimos cinco años; y que cerca del 25 por ciento de los latinos de entre 18 y 29 años comparten esta experiencia. Los latinos representan cerca de la mitad de todos los convictos en las prisiones federales, y en California (uno de los pocos estados que cuenta con información sobre esto), los latinos componen un 40 por ciento de todos los arrestos.
Catedráticos tales como Tom Romero han sugerido que The New Jim Crow provee de los fundamentos esenciales para comprender el “nuevo sistema Jim Crow” de inmigración y detención en los Estados Unidos al día de hoy. Millones de familias de habla hispana afectadas por este sistema apreciarán contar con una edición en español de este libro que ha sido considerado como “invaluable” por el Daily Kos y “explosivo” por Kirkus Reviews.
A central factor causing the upsurge in the drug war, the author explains, is the fact that laws were passed in the 1980s that allowed law enforcement to profit from seizing property based on scanty evidence and without criminal charges. His meticulous research has revealed that this "policing for profit" is responsible for a variety of assaults on civil liberties, including mass incarceration, SWAT teams, and random drug sweeps. A second factor that infects every aspect of the War on Drugs is racism—the widespread stereotyping of drug traffickers as African Americans and Latinos. These issues and more are explored in this book that lays bare what the media largely ignores.
Ivery and Bassett combine their own experience in the fields of civil rights and education with the knowledge of more than 20 experts in the field of urban studies to provide an accessible overview of the theories of the urban underclass and how they affect America's urban crisis. This engaging look into the still-present racial politics in America's cities adds significantly to the existing scholarship on the urban underclass by discussing the role of the prison-industrial complex in sustaining the urban crisis as well as the importance of the concept of multiracial democracy to the future of American politics and society. America's Urban Crisis and the Advent of Color-blind Politics encourages the reader not only to be aware of persisting racial inequalities, but to actively engage in efforts to respond to them.
Drawing on a growing body of academic and professional work, Understanding Mass Incarceration describes in plain English the many competing theories of criminal justice—from rehabilitation to retribution, from restorative justice to justice reinvestment. In a lively and accessible style, author James Kilgore illuminates the difference between prisons and jails, probation and parole, laying out key concepts and policies such as the War on Drugs, broken windows policing, three-strikes sentencing, the school-to-prison pipeline, recidivism, and prison privatization. Informed by the crucial lenses of race and gender, he addresses issues typically omitted from the discussion: the rapidly increasing incarceration of women, Latinos, and transgender people; the growing imprisonment of immigrants; and the devastating impact of mass incarceration on communities.
Both field guide and primer, Understanding Mass Incarceration will be an essential resource for those engaged in criminal justice activism as well as those new to the subject.
Representing disciplines ranging from criminology to economics, geography, law, sociology, and political science, the contributors critically examine and debate the nature and impact of recent and contemporary American criminal justice policies. Particular attention is paid to the impact of such policies on the nation's racial divide, but the authors use this disparity to illustrate the broader public policy paradoxes and dilemmas which lie at the heart of the struggle to control rising crime rates. Purported reforms in sentencing, the nation's growing prison population, the war on drugs and gangs, the demise of juvenile court, racial profiling and affirmative action are all grist for the mill. Contributors also ask more philosophical and epistemological questions such as the meaning of social justice, fairness, and justice and their relevance for understanding contemporary criminal justice.
At the age of sixteen, R. Dwayne Betts-a good student from a lower- middle-class family-carjacked a man with a friend. He had never held a gun before, but within a matter of minutes he had committed six felonies. In Virginia, carjacking is a "certifiable" offense, meaning that Betts would be treated as an adult under state law. A bright young kid, he served his nine-year sentence as part of the adult population in some of the worst prisons in the state.
A Question of Freedom chronicles Betts's years in prison, reflecting back on his crime and looking ahead to how his experiences and the books he discovered while incarcerated would define him. Utterly alone, Betts confronts profound questions about violence, freedom, crime, race, and the justice system. Confined by cinder-block walls and barbed wire, he discovers the power of language through books, poetry, and his own pen. Above all, A Question of Freedom is about a quest for identity-one that guarantees Betts's survival in a hostile environment and that incorporates an understanding of how his own past led to the moment of his crime.