Racism, harsh drug laws, and prosecutorial overreach have formed three widely-discussed explanations of the punitive carceral state. These three narratives, however, only partially explain where we are. Neglected in our discussion of mass incarceration is our largely-forgotten history of the long-term, wholesale institutionalization of the disabled. This form of mass detention, motivated by a continuing application of eugenics and persistent class-based discrimination, provides an important part of our history of imprisonment, shaping key contours of our current supersized correctional system. Only by fully exploring this forgotten narrative of long-term detention and isolation will policy makers be able to understand, diagnose, and solve the crisis of mass incarceration.
Friday, March 23, 2018
Appleman on the Forgotten History of Eugenics and Mass Incarceration
Laura I. Appleman, Willamette University College of Law, has posted Deviancy, Disability, and Dependency: The Forgotten History of Eugenics and Mass Incarceration, which is forthcoming in the Duke Law Journal: