War on marijuana and disparate policing in communities of color must end

August 31, 2017 by Cat Packer I went into law school thinking that I wanted to be a civil rights attorney. As a Black queer woman, I understood many of the social injustices experienced by marginalized communities and wanted to use my law degree to fight the many systems of oppression that plagued and terrorized […]

The Abandonment

by PAUL STREET Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow is properly understood as a classic text on and against the regime of racist mass incarceration and criminal- (felony-) marking that arose and became deeply entrenched in the United States during the last third of the previous century.  There were three key problems, however, with professor Alexander’s use […]

‘13th’ and the culture of surplus punishment

by Victor Wallis Ava DuVernay undertook the documentary “13th” in order to explore and bring attention to the Prison Industrial Complex.[1] The film’s title refers to the 1865 amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in which slavery was abolished “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” The story told by […]

A Minimal Demand: Roll Back Incarceration to 1970 Levelz

  by BAR executive editor Glen Ford Prison populations have increased more than seven-fold since 1970, when the mass Black incarceration regime was set in motion. If incarceration was rolled back to 1970 levels, 86 percent of current prisoners would be released. Let’s demand it be done – NOW! “Demands are not formulated to woo […]

How Poor Black Livez Matter to U.S. Capitalism Today: Reflectionz on “The New Jim Crow”

by Paul Street The U.S. mass incarceration regime measures Black lives by the value that can be derived from their imprisonment. “The ‘new Jim Crow’ is about disciplining a deindustrialized Black lumpen proletariat and turning it into a largely inert, deindustrialized profit-source whose ‘value added’ comes mainly from the mere fact of its captive existence.” […]

Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow” – 2013 George E. Kent Lecture

Michelle Alexander, highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, Associate Professor of Law at Ohio State University, and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, delivers the 30th Annual George E. Kent Lecture, in honor of the late George E. Kent, who was one of the earliest tenured African American […]

How They Police vs. What They Police: Reflectionz on Ferguson, Race, and “the Rule of Law”

By Paul Street How Throughout its coverage of the drama sparked by the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, US corporate media has framed the basic racial issue at stake as how police carry out their tasks: how they police.  The issue is not minor. How cops do their jobs is a serious […]

Pennsylvania’z addiction to prison-building a moral, economic disaster

Pennsylvania is building two new state prisons in Montgomery County. (AP File Photo)   Pennsylvania’s addiction to prison-building a moral, economic disaster By Robert Walden and Thomas Dichter In their last two debates, neither Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett nor Tom Wolf has spoken a word about mass incarceration. Yet the Department of Corrections is the third largest item in the state budget, […]

Voices from Solitary: Solitary Confinement’s Invisible Scars

By Voices from Solitary A cell in one of New York’s Special Housing Units. The following comes from our friend and colleague Five Omar Mualimm-ak, who works for prison reform in New York with the American Friends Service Committee, Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, New York City Jails Action Coalition, and New York […]

A Displaced and Discarded Labor Force

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/09/the-myth-of-prison-slave-labor-camps-in-the-u-s/ by JAMES KILGORE As Adam Gopkin reminds us, “mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850.” The racialization of this process, popularized by author Michelle Alexander as The New Jim Crow, has meant that […]