The New Jim Crow Incarceration Essay

Words: 454
Pages: 2

In Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Colorblindness In the age of Mass Incarceration, she explains that there are three distinct phases of incarceration that characterize this new era of Jim Crow. Alexander names these phases this way: the roundup, the period of formal control, and lastly, the period of invisible incarceration. According to Alexander, although the Jim Crow era of enforced racial segregation ended years ago, in her view, these three forms of incarceration amount to a new form of racial segregation, and control that in many respects is far more effective than the original form of Jim Crow.
The original Jim Crow laws describe the de jure segregation in the southern states that came about after the Reconstruction era, and were designed to restrict the daily lives of the African American community for around 77 years. The laws kept many African Americans from voting through the use of poll taxes, and literacy tests, and segregated everything from work place bathrooms, to hotels, to restaurants, and even prisons. Many assume that The Jim Crow era ended in 1965 with the passage of the “Voting Rights Act”; however, in Michelle Alexander’s book she introduces the concept of a new form of racial injustice in today’s society, which she terms the “new Jim Crow.” The new
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During this phase law enforcement use tactics, that some consider unconstitutional, such as stop and frisk. Many of the laws within the phase were created to allow many arrests to be made to pull in more young African Americans into the criminal justice system, she shows the reader this through statistics, such as the major increase in the amount of people thrown in prisons and jails since the 1980’s (approximately an increase of 1,100%). Alexander makes a point about the “War on drugs” being a fuel for this fire, and that many of the arrests made are minor drug possession, drugs like marijuana account for 80% of the