Mass incarceration, largely through the War on Drugs, combined with white racism has produced a catastrophe for African Americans. It is hard to imagine that if young whites, despite being no more likely to offend drug laws than blacks, were subjected to these laws that we would have seen a sharp reaction from the white majority. Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow is important reading and a call to action.
The Prison Policy Initiative has released a new study “Women’s Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2017”. In a pattern that is similar to the fate of men in our mass incarceration system that charades as justice, 60% of those in local jails are there because they cannot afford bail. 29% of these women held for lack of cash are charged with drug offenses.