Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"The New Jim Crow"

From World, a review by Marvin Olasky of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness...

...provides evidence that legal defense for the indigent is not what it should be, that plea bargaining and justice often do not go together, and that sentencing rules for minor drug offenses should change.

But that's not all: Conservatives should pay attention to this book because it challenges many assumptions about both race and drugs. Both 15-year-old African-Americans on the streets and 30-year-old whites in public defender offices know what many of us don't want to admit: that race plays a significant role in the criminal justice system. Another hard admission, because I don't have an alternative to recommend: The war on drugs isn't working, not only for all the readily visible reasons but because it rips apart families...

At the end, Olasky calls for "a recognition by more Christians that the people who have been most penalized and stigmatized by the war on drugs are worthy of our concern".


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