as The New Jim Crow clearly shows, the dramatic increases in mandatory sentence lengths even for nonviolent offenses and the far-reaching consequences that come with being classified as a felon even after a sentence is completed have made incarceration today a historically punitive form of social control and social death—at exactly the same time as record numbers of African Americans are being confined. This is how mass incarceration functions as the new Jim Crow, with predictably destructive results for Black communities and families.The most outrageous aspect of this process is that corporate prisons are increasing exponentially and while the government spends very little to improve the well-being of African American populations at risk in their impoverished enclaves, it is willing to spend upwards of $40,000 a year (paid directly to the corporations that own these prisons) to imprison each person for a year. The destruction of individual lives and communities that ensures literally ensures that African Americans are a doomed population (if your very existence is criminalized, it is only a matter of time before the majority of black people are co-opted by the prison-industrial complex: even those who manage to stay out of jail end up bled of their resources to support relatives who end up in prison).
The mass incarceration of African Americans is a form of genocide and should be treated as such. If young black males cannot escape the specter of slavery almost two centuries after chattel slavery was abolished, can we truthfully say we've made any progress in race relations since that time?