Critical Review : ' The New Jim Crow '

1520 WordsMay 12, 20167 Pages
Teleia Jones Dr. Conner Criminology May 7, 2016 Critical Review Essay In The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Modern Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, the author argues the legal system doing its job “perfectly” well—the United States has simply replaced one caste system, the Jim Crow laws instituted in the 1880s and designed to oppress recently freed black slaves, for another—a system which uses the War on Drugs, which was instituted in the 1970s, to imprison, parole, and detain people of color, keeping the majority of minorities in the United States in a permanent state of incarceration. This an important issue because it affects the everyday lives of people around the nation. Alexander looks in detail at what economists normally miss—the entire legal structure of the courts, parole, probation and laws that effectively turn a person who may have done the crime into a person who is unworthy or “incapable” of rehabilitation. Alexander does a wonderful job of telling the truth, and blaming the right people, who can be liberal or conservative, white or black, who inflict this injustice on others. Alexander’s writing, however, does lack a structure that the reader can follow, which ultimately weakens her overall case. In The New Jim Crow, much of the focus spotlights the issue of the War on Drugs and how that those supposed anti-drug policies have created unequal members of society. TheWar on Drugs was first waged in 1971, when President Richard Nixon first

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