Monday, March 10, 2014

Walker on the Progressive Origins of Mass Incarceration

Anders Walker, Saint Louis University School of Law, has posted The New Jim Crow? Recovering the Progressive Origins of Mass Incarceration, which is forthcoming in the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.  Here is the abstract:
This article revisits the claim that mass incarceration constitutes a new form of racial segregation, or Jim Crow. Drawing from historical sources, it demonstrates that proponents of the analogy miss an important commonality between the two phenomena, namely the debt that each owe to progressive and/or liberal politics. Though generally associated with repression and discrimination, both Jim Crow and mass incarceration owe their existence in part to enlightened reforms aimed at promoting black interests; albeit with perverse results. Recognizing the aspirational origins of systematic discrimination marks an important facet of comprehending the persistence of racial inequality in the United States.