The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Audiobook CD - 2012
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Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race.
Publisher: Prince Frederick, MD : Recorded Books, [2012]
Copyright Date: ℗2012
ISBN: 9781464046148
Branch Call Number: CD 364.973 AL273N 2012
Characteristics: 11 audio discs (13 hr., 15 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Chilton, Karen


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Jan 14, 2017

This book has an interesting premise, chosen no doubt to be shocking and to gain a reading audience, but I'm not sure I agree with the idea that mass incarceration is a deliberate attempt by whites to create another form of slavery nor am I sure about all the statistics she quotes in this book. Though I am very skeptical of all statistics in general, not just these ones. I know exactly how easy it is to pick, choose and arrange numbers to say what you want, and how leaving out the opposite view can make things seem what they are not. I believe there was a lot of that type of narrow view and cherry picking of statistics here.
What was for me the most interesting part of the book, were the details on how the justice system actually works. How easy it is for the police to search a person or vehicle, how difficult it is to make a life for yourself or get a job once you have a felony on your record and what kind of sentences can be levied for what. The information on how dramatically big the system is was quite staggering, I knew it was large but I did not realize just how expansive or expensive.
But then there is the pervasive commentary throughout the book that all this is being created by the justice system locking people up for many years for minor drug offenses. Can I just say one thing here, I know it might be a little simple minded and it in no way diminishes the fact that there are issues here, but if you aren't carrying drugs and you aren't using drugs, it would be pretty hard to get arrested on a drug charge. You do not have to cave to peer pressure and fly home from California with a little weed in your luggage like one example in the book, why take that risk no matter what your race, gender or country. Though, 10 years for a first offense does seem pretty harsh in this situation.
So, I think this book was extremely biased, narrow minded and simplistic but I think it's important to get the conversation started and this is as good a place as any. There needs to be reform, the prison and justice system as it is now is obviously not working. What creates this mass incarceration (the war on drugs is such a small part), what can we do to stop it, how can the repeat offenders be stopped, how can rehabilitation take place and how does an institutionalized inmate integrate back into society? These are what we need to address and yes, how to stop the entire population from being unintentional racists, how to change our perceptions of an entire culture so we don't automatically think of a black man in baggy pants as a criminal, this would be helpful.


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Apr 03, 2018

In my opinion this is the definitive book on race and mass incarceration in the USA today.


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