Michelle Alexander’s Thesis

On page 4 of The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander argues that “mass incarceration in the United States had, in fact, emerged as a stunningly comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social control that functions in a manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow.”  She “argues that mass incarceration is, metaphorically, the New Jim Crow.”  (Id. at p. 11.)  She describes “mass incarceration as a ‘racial caste system'” consisting of “the larger web of laws, rules, policies, and customs that control those labeled criminals both in and out of prison.”  (Id. at p. 12-13.)


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