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"In no area of American society are the legacies of slavery and racism more evident than in the criminal legal system. Despite making up only 12% of the U.S. population, Black people make up 50% of the country’s prison population."
Heather Ann Thompson article published in Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, 16, no. 1 (2019): 221-41.
"The United States today has the highest incarceration rate, as well as the largest number of people living under correctional control more broadly (including probation and parole), than any other country on the globe. The size of the American criminal justice system is not only internationally unparalleled, but it is also historically unprecedented. This apparatus is also deeply racialized. African Americans, Latinos, and indigenous populations (Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, Native American), are all represented in U. S. jails and prisons in numbers dramatically disproportionate to their representation in the population as a whole, and every non-White population is incarcerated at a rate far surpassing that of Whites. Notably, however, while the scale of today’s criminal justice system is unsurpassed and unprecedented, its severe racial disproportionality has always been a defining feature. Only by taking a close look at the long and deeply racialized history of the American criminal justice system, and more specifically at the regularly discriminatory application of the law as well as the consistent lack of equal justice under the law over time, can we fully understand not only why the American criminal justice system remains so unjust, but also why prison populations rose so dramatically when they did."
The Sentencing Project "works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration."
"Each episode explains a new criminal justice issue and features conversations with experts and advocates." From The Appeal, independent journalism focused on criminal justice issues, particularly mass incarceration.
This podcast on "incarceration and prison abolition...elevates people directly impacted by the system." From Shadowproof, an independent "press organization driven to expose systemic abuses of power in business and government."