mass incarceration

INTRO: For your first class assignment #2, you will need to show a good understanding of some of the readings/videos provided in pages of this module.  I have provided you with all the readings you need, but you can of course read more sources if you want to.  This assignment is worth 100 points, so please spend some time working on it and submit it on time.

INSTRUCTIONS: For these questions, you can either answer them directly into Canvas or you can attach a document with your responses. This does not have to be essay-style answers, you can simply type #1 and then the answer.  It is important that your answers reflect that you have read and understood the articles that are required for this assignment, and you MUST answer ALL parts of these questions.

For questions #1-#3, please read this excerpt from the book New Jim Crow written by Michelle Alexander and watch this video (Links to an external site.) (both of these are the same from the page in the module entitled “New Jim Crow”).  After you read the article and watch the video, answer the following prompts:

1.) Do you find the arguments presented by Alexander in the article and in the video to be convincing? What aspects of her arguments do you agree with or disagree with?  Be sure to cite a few specific examples in your response.

2.) According to the article, what are the major similarities between Jim Crow and mass incarceration? Do you agree with Alexander’s arguments that there are these connections and that we are essentially living in a “new” Jim Crow period?  If you do not believe there are any similarities, then make an argument in which you refute the arguments posed by Alexander and highlight three areas in which you disagree with her arguments.

3.) The statistics presented by Alexander, such as the fact that black men are 6% of our nation’s population but 40% of our prison population, and the statistics presented in the module page entitled “Mass Incarceration” are troubling. What do you think needs to be done or needs to change in order to decrease the racial disparity and disproportion that exists in our prison system?

For questions #4-#6, please read the following article which refutes many of the arguments presented by Alexander (Links to an external site.) (this is the same article found in the module page entitled “Mass Incarceration”).

4.) What are the author’s arguments about the role of the war on drugs and whether it has actually contributed to mass incarceration?

5.) What does the author have to say about the rate of incarceration in state prisons vs. federal prisons and what role do prosecutors have in this system?

6.) Lastly, what do you think about the arguments presented in this article AND do you find the arguments presented by Michelle Alexander more convincing or the arguments presented by the author of this article?  Please explain your answer in detail.

TURNING IT IN: Be sure to answer ALL the questions and fully explain your answers.  You CANNOT copy and paste things directly from the internet into your assignment.  You need to put what your read into your own words.  The assignment, in total, should be AT LEAST 600 words long (AT LEAST 100 words per question).  This should add up to approximately 3 pages, double-spaced, using Times New Roman font if using a word processor.