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The Vanishing Middle ClassPrejudice and Power in a Dual Economy$
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Peter Temin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036160

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036160.001.0001

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Mass Incarceration

Mass Incarceration

Chapter:
(p.101) 9 Mass Incarceration
Source:
The Vanishing Middle Class
Author(s):

Peter Temin

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262036160.003.0009

The United States has a dual justice system; the FTE sector pays fines, and the low-wage sector goes to jail. One out of three black males spends time in prison in a new Jim Crow system. Poor white men are far less likely to be imprisoned, but they still are a majority of prisoners. This dual system is administered by all levels of government, from the Supreme Court to local police and prosecutors. Mass imprisonment destroys social capital in black, brown and white communities alike. Mass imprisonment costs the government large amounts of money that could be used elsewhere. Current policies are complicated by the growth of private prisons and restricted to helping prisoners re-join society.

Keywords:   Mass incarceration, Jim Crow, Supreme Court, police, local prosecutors, social capital, private prisons

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