• Day 16

    Day 16 – The New Jim Crow

    Today, we look at mass incarceration in the United States. We will explore how people of color were intentionally and systematically incarcerated and stripped of their basic American rights such as the right to vote, housing, and access to quality education. The War on Drugs swept through communities of color and stripped families of stability and opportunities. Mass incarceration has become a racial caste system which keeps African Americans in an inferior position.

    Today's activities will provide insight to the direct results of mass incarceration in the U.S. We will learn the why behind our massively growing prison system, and the effects it has had on the growth of the African American community.  

    Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, legal scholar, and best-selling author. Her award-winning book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness , helped to spark a national debate about the crisis of mass incarceration in the United States, and inspired racial justice organizing and advocacy efforts nationwide. Listen to this Ted Talk where she discusses the future of race in America. 

    New bills for prison reform are introduced to state legislatures daily. Recently in Ohio, the state-house prison pipeline report showed that Ohio lawmakers undermine criminal sentencing reform year after year. Check out Ohio’s ACLU Criminal Justice Press Release. 

    Once someone is incarcerated, they are branded for life. What happens to them once they are released? We have to begin to ask how they begin to repair their life. Read this New York Times article that details life after prison. 

    After you engage with the challenge materials reflect on how mass incarceration has affected the community you live in. You can share your responses with us @LWScienceHealth on Instagram.