Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families


Michelle Alexander: A Movement to End Mass Incarceration

Michelle Alexander speaks on a panel at the Children's Defense Fund's 2012 National Conference about the mass incarceration of people of color, especially African Americans.  This trend has created what can be understood as a new caste system based on race, very similar to the system created by law during the nation's Jim Crow era.


And the reason I think it's so important for us to shift our thinking about mass incarceration in our criminal justice system, away from just thinking of it as just a broken system that's in need of some reform or some tinkering, and to understanding the scope and scale of this thing and its relationship to our racial history and our racial present, is because if we imagine... if we continue to delude ourselves... that our criminal justice system is just a little bit broken and in need of a fix here and there, a policy reform here and there, if we delude ourselves into thinking that this system of control will continue to function well for a very long time, just as in the days of slavery we shouldn't have been talking about reforming slavery to make it a more humane system, we shouldn't be talking about reforming the system of mass incarceration.  We should be talking about ending the system of mass incarceration as a whole.  And we shouldn't be talking about reforming the war on drugs, we should be talking about ending the war on drugs.



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