UCSD The US Prison System Driven by Racism and Profit Motives Essay

For this paper, you should critically examine the various ways in which the US prison system is structured by racism and profit motives.  Drawing primarily on Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, and Angela Davis’ Are Prisons Obsolete? provide an in-depth analysis of the US prison system in light of these author’s major arguments.

For this assignment, you MUST draw from all of the following chapters/sections:

Davis, Angela.   2003.  Are Prisons Obsolete?  Chapters: “Prison Reform or Abolition? & “The Prison Industrial Complex.”

Michelle, Alexander.  2010.  The New Jim Crow.  “The Lockdown.”

Themes to consider when developing your essay:

Your essay should include a thesis and have a logical flow which examines the criminal justice system from a critical perspective outlines in the New Jim Crow.  Your essay should first provide a systematic overview of the major arguments outlines in the Alexander’s “The Lockdown”.  Provide a discussion of why Alexander uses the metaphor of the Jim Crow and how does this contradict  “colorblind” society.  What does she say about racial caste vs. class in relation to mass incarceration?   You should also discuss the rise of mass incarceration since the early 1970s, the role of the “War on Drugs”, along with the “prison label”.  Next, critically analyze how prisons have become a source of profit for private capital by analyzing Davis’ “The Prison Industrial Complex” and “Prison Reform or Abolition.”  Finally, examine and assess Davis’ arguments for abolishing prisons.

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