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Mass incarceration

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Racializing Algorithms, Jessica M. Eaglin Jun 2023

Racializing Algorithms, Jessica M. Eaglin

Articles by Maurer Faculty

There is widespread recognition that algorithms in criminal law’s administration can impose negative racial and social effects. Scholars tend to offer two ways to address this concern through law—tinkering around the tools or abolishing the tools through law and policy. This Article contends that these paradigmatic interventions, though they may center racial disparities, legitimate the way race functions to structure society through the intersection of technology and law. In adopting a theoretical lens centered on racism and the law, it reveals deeply embedded social assumptions about race that propel algorithms as criminal legal reform in response to mass incarceration. It …


Carceral Socialization As Voter Suppression, Danieli Evans Apr 2023

Carceral Socialization As Voter Suppression, Danieli Evans

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In an era of mass incarceration, many people are socialized through interactions with the carceral state. These interactions are powerful learning experiences, and by design, they are contrary to democratic citizenship. Citizenship is about belonging to a community of equals, being entitled to mutual respect and concern. Criminal punishment deliberately harms, subordinates, and stigmatizes. Encounters with the carceral system are powerful experiences of anti-democratic socialization, and they impact peoples’ sense of citizenship and trust in government. Accordingly, a large body of social science research shows that eligible voters who have carceral contact are significantly less likely to vote or to …


The Racist Roots Of The War On Drugs And The Myth Of Equal Protection For People Of Color, André Douglas Pond Cummings, Steven A. Ramirez Jun 2022

The Racist Roots Of The War On Drugs And The Myth Of Equal Protection For People Of Color, André Douglas Pond Cummings, Steven A. Ramirez

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review

By 2021, the costs and pain arising from the propagation of the American racial hierarchy reached such heights that calls for anti-racism and criminal justice reform dramatically expanded. The brutal murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police vividly proved that the social construction of race in America directly conflicted with supposed American values of equal protection under law and notions of basic justice. The racially-driven War on Drugs (WOD) fuels much of the dissonance between American legal mythology—such as the non-discrimination principle and the impartial administration of the rule of law—and the reality of race in the United States. …


The War On Drugs, Moral Panics, And The Groundhog Day Effect: Confronting The Stereotypes That Perpetuate The Cycle Of Disparity, Tasha Withrow Apr 2022

The War On Drugs, Moral Panics, And The Groundhog Day Effect: Confronting The Stereotypes That Perpetuate The Cycle Of Disparity, Tasha Withrow

The Mid-Southern Journal of Criminal Justice

There has been a specter haunting America for over 400 years. That specter is an insidious and destructive beast that has found its way into every crevice and layer of all American institutions. Racism, racial stereotypes, racial stigma, biases, and White supremacy has infiltrated every power structure since the foundation of America and has created a system of social control that has perpetually oppressed, marginalized, and disenfranchised generations of people of color. One of the most catastrophic by-products generated from America’s historic racist ideology has been that of the over-criminalization of people of color for drug crimes justified by discriminatory …


The Democratizing Potential Of Algorithms?, Ngozi Okidegbe Mar 2022

The Democratizing Potential Of Algorithms?, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

Jurisdictions are increasingly embracing the use of pretrial risk assessment algorithms as a solution to the problem of mass pretrial incarceration. Conversations about the use of pretrial algorithms in legal scholarship have tended to focus on their opacity, determinativeness, reliability, validity, or their (in)ability to reduce high rates of incarceration as well as racial and socioeconomic disparities within the pretrial system. This Article breaks from this tendency, examining these algorithms from a democratization of criminal law perspective. Using this framework, it points out that currently employed algorithms are exclusionary of the viewpoints and values of the racially marginalized communities most …


The New Jim And Jane Crow Intersect: Challenges To Defending The Parental Rights Of Mothers During Incarceration, Carla Laroche Jan 2022

The New Jim And Jane Crow Intersect: Challenges To Defending The Parental Rights Of Mothers During Incarceration, Carla Laroche

Scholarly Articles

Family law scholars and advocates have expressed the importance of providing counsel to parents in the family regulation system, especially parents who are incarcerated, because of the system’s complexities. This article establishes, however, that when mothers must navigate both the family regulation and criminal legal systems, the protections appointed parents’ counsel are supposed to provide are weakened. These harms are heightened especially for Black mothers within the carceral state. As this article shows, appointed lawyers in family regulation cases cannot properly protect the due process rights of mothers who are incarcerated because of the added challenges both mothers and their …


Movement Constitutionalism, Brandon Hasbrouck Jan 2022

Movement Constitutionalism, Brandon Hasbrouck

Scholarly Articles

The white supremacy at the heart of the American criminal legal system works to control Black, Brown, and poor people through mass incarceration. Poverty and incarceration act in a vicious circle, with reactionaries mounting a desperate defense against any attempt to mitigate economic exploitation or carceral violence. Ending the cycle will require replacing this inequitable system with the life- and liberty-affirming institutions of abolition democracy. The path to abolition democracy is arduous, but abolitionists can press for change through what I coin “movement constitutionalism.” Movement constitutionalism is the process by which grassroots abolitionist movements shift—through demands and in solidarity with …


The New Penal Bureaucrats, Shaun Ossei-Owusu Jan 2022

The New Penal Bureaucrats, Shaun Ossei-Owusu

All Faculty Scholarship

he protests of 2020 have jump-started conversations about criminal justice reform in the public and professoriate. Although there have been longstanding demands for reformation and re-imagining of the criminal justice system, recent calls have taken on a new urgency. Greater public awareness of racial bias, increasing visual evidence of state-sanctioned killings, and the televised policing of peaceful dissent have forced the public to reckon with a penal state whose brutality was comfortably tolerated. Scholars are publishing op-eds, policy proposals, and articles with rapidity, pointing to different factors and actors that produce the need for reform. However, one input has gone …


Close Encounters: Mass Incarceration Tactics, Kevin L. Jones Mar 2021

Close Encounters: Mass Incarceration Tactics, Kevin L. Jones

The Journal of Faith, Education, and Community

As a Black man living in America, my Christian faith walk began at an early age. Growing up in a suburban environment, I had several encounters with law enforcement that shaped my belief system. These encounters were and still are a stark reminder that Black boys and men are under attack. Policing negatively impacts Black boys and men when compared to other races of people. I realized that I was in their cross hairs and I was almost consumed by the criminal justice system on many occasions. Through the lens of Critical Race Theory, this work focused on the centrality …


When We Breathe: Re-Envisioning Safety And Justice In A Post-Floyd Era, Aya Gruber Jan 2021

When We Breathe: Re-Envisioning Safety And Justice In A Post-Floyd Era, Aya Gruber

Publications

10th Annual David H. Bodiker Lecture on Criminal Justice delivered on Wed., Oct. 21, 2020 at Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.


Wage Theft Criminalization, Benjamin Levin Jan 2021

Wage Theft Criminalization, Benjamin Levin

Publications

Over the past decade, workers’ rights activists and legal scholars have embraced the language of “wage theft” in describing the abuses of the contemporary workplace. The phrase invokes a certain moral clarity: theft is wrong. The phrase is not merely a rhetorical flourish. Increasingly, it has a specific content for activists, politicians, advocates, and academics: wage theft speaks the language of criminal law, and wage theft is a crime that should be punished. Harshly. Self-proclaimed “progressive prosecutors” have made wage theft cases a priority, and left-leaning politicians in the United States and abroad have begun to propose more criminal statutes …


The Music Of Mass Incarceration, Andrea L. Dennis Nov 2020

The Music Of Mass Incarceration, Andrea L. Dennis

Scholarly Works

Intellectual property law reaches every aspect of the world, society, and creativity. Sometimes, creative expression is at the very crux of societal conflict and change. Through its history, rap music has demonstrated passionate creative expression, exploding with emotion and truths. Now the most popular musical genre in America, rap has always shared—and consistently critiqued—disproportionate effects of the criminal legal system on Black communities. The world is increasingly hearing these tunes with special acuity and paying more attention to the lyrics. Virtually every music recording artist would consider the following numbers a major career achievement: 500 percent increase; 222 percent growth; …


No Path To Redemption: Evaluating Texas’S Practice Of Sentencing Kids To De Facto Life Without Parole In Adult Prison, Lindsey Linder, Justin Martinez Oct 2020

No Path To Redemption: Evaluating Texas’S Practice Of Sentencing Kids To De Facto Life Without Parole In Adult Prison, Lindsey Linder, Justin Martinez

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

Abstract forthcoming.


Mass Solitary And Mass Incarceration: Explaining The Dramatic Rise In Prolonged Solitary In America's Prisons, Jules Lobel Aug 2020

Mass Solitary And Mass Incarceration: Explaining The Dramatic Rise In Prolonged Solitary In America's Prisons, Jules Lobel

Northwestern University Law Review

In the last two decades of the twentieth century, prisons throughout the United States witnessed a dramatic rise in the use of solitary confinement, and the practice continues to be widespread. From the latter part of the nineteenth century until the 1970s and ’80s, prolonged solitary confinement in the United States had fallen into disuse, as numerous observers and the United States Supreme Court recognized that the practice caused profound mental harm to prisoners. The reasons for this dramatic rise in the nationwide use of solitary confinement and the development of new supermax prisons have not been explored in depth. …


How Do We Reach A National Tipping Point In The Campaign To Stop Solitary?, Amy Fettig Aug 2020

How Do We Reach A National Tipping Point In The Campaign To Stop Solitary?, Amy Fettig

Northwestern University Law Review

The use and abuse of solitary confinement in American prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers is at epidemic levels. On any given day 80,000 to 100,000 people in prisons are subjected to a practice considered inhumane and degrading treatment—even torture under international human rights standards. Despite widespread international condemnation, decades of research demonstrating the harm it inflicts on human beings, and a growing chorus from the medical community raising alarms about its impact on the brain, solitary confinement remains a routine prison-management strategy in correctional institutions nationwide. In the past decade, however, a growing movement has emerged to challenge the …


A Wrong Without A Right? Overcoming The Prison Litigation Reform Act's Physical Injury Requirement In Solitary Confinement Cases, Maggie Filler, Daniel Greenfield Aug 2020

A Wrong Without A Right? Overcoming The Prison Litigation Reform Act's Physical Injury Requirement In Solitary Confinement Cases, Maggie Filler, Daniel Greenfield

Northwestern University Law Review

This Essay argues against applying the so-called “physical injury” requirement of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) to deny monetary compensation to solitary confinement survivors. The Essay identifies three ways in which misapplication of the PLRA’s physical injury requirement limits the ability of solitary confinement survivors to receive monetary compensation for psychological harm suffered. First, some courts applying the PLRA wrongly dismiss damages claims for alleging “de minimis” physical injury. Second, some courts have been reluctant to find that physical injury caused by psychological trauma satisfies the PLRA’s physical injury requirement. Third, courts do not distinguish between “garden …


Consensus Statement From The Santa Cruz Summit On Solitary Confinement And Health Aug 2020

Consensus Statement From The Santa Cruz Summit On Solitary Confinement And Health

Northwestern University Law Review

No abstract provided.


When They Hear Us: Race, Algorithms And The Practice Of Criminal Law, Ngozi Okidegbe Jul 2020

When They Hear Us: Race, Algorithms And The Practice Of Criminal Law, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

We are in the midst of a fraught debate in criminal justice reform circles about the merits of using algorithms. Proponents claim that these algorithms offer an objective path towards substantially lowering high rates of incarceration and racial and socioeconomic disparities without endangering community safety. On the other hand, racial justice scholars argue that these algorithms threaten to entrench racial inequity within the system because they utilize risk factors that correlate with historic racial inequities, and in so doing, reproduce the same racial status quo, but under the guise of scientific objectivity.

This symposium keynote address discusses the challenge that …


#Metoo And Mass Incarceration, Aya Gruber Jan 2020

#Metoo And Mass Incarceration, Aya Gruber

Publications

This Symposium Guest Editor’s Note is an adapted version of the Introduction to The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration (UC Press 2020). The book examines how American feminists, in the quest to secure women’s protection from domestic violence and rape, often acted as soldiers in the war on crime by emphasizing white female victimhood, expanding the power of police and prosecutors, touting incarceration, and diverting resources toward law enforcement and away from marginalized communities Today, despite deep concerns over racist policing and mass incarceration, many feminists continue to assert that gender crime …


Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin Jan 2019

Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin

Publications

This Article examines the debates over recent proposals for “mens rea reform.” The substantive criminal law has expanded dramatically, and legislators have criminalized a great deal of common conduct. Often, new criminal laws do not require that defendants know they are acting unlawfully. Mens rea reform proposals seek to address the problems of overcriminalization and unintentional offending by increasing the burden on prosecutors to prove a defendant’s culpable mental state. These proposals have been a staple of conservative-backed bills on criminal justice reform. Many on the left remain skeptical of mens rea reform and view it as a deregulatory vehicle …


The Colourful Truth: The Reality Of Indigenous Overrepresentation In Juvenile Detention In Australia And The United States, Rachel Thampapillai Dec 2018

The Colourful Truth: The Reality Of Indigenous Overrepresentation In Juvenile Detention In Australia And The United States, Rachel Thampapillai

American Indian Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Combating Discrimination Against The Formerly Incarcerated In The Labor Market, Ifeoma Ajunwa, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Jun 2018

Combating Discrimination Against The Formerly Incarcerated In The Labor Market, Ifeoma Ajunwa, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Northwestern University Law Review

Both discrimination by private employers and governmental restrictions in the form of statutes that prohibit professional licensing serve to exclude the formerly incarcerated from much of the labor market. This Essay explores and analyzes potential legislative and contractual means for removing these barriers to labor market participation by the formerly incarcerated. First, as a means of addressing discrimination by the state, Part I of this Essay explores the ways in which the adoption of racial impact statements—which mandate that legislators consider statistical analyses of the potential impact their proposed legislation may have on racial and ethnic groups prior to enacting …


Who Locked Us Up? Examining The Social Meaning Of Black Punitiveness, Darren Lenard Hutchinson Jun 2018

Who Locked Us Up? Examining The Social Meaning Of Black Punitiveness, Darren Lenard Hutchinson

UF Law Faculty Publications

Mass incarceration has received extensive analysis in scholarly and political debates. Beginning in the 1970s, states and the federal government adopted tougher sentencing and police practices that responded to rising punitive sentiment among the general public. Many scholars have argued that U.S. criminal law and enforcement subordinate people of color by denying them political, social, and economic well-being. The harmful and disparate racial impact of U.S. crime policy mirrors historical patterns that emerged during slavery, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, James Forman, Jr. demonstrates that many …


Mass Incarceration: Slavery Renamed, Samantha Pereira May 2018

Mass Incarceration: Slavery Renamed, Samantha Pereira

Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science

This paper aims to analyze the connections between slavery and mass incarceration. It begins by giving background information regarding the topic and setting the framework to argue that slavery was never abolished, but was instead continued using mass incarceration. The paper then goes on to further explain this concept by examining the constitutional and judicial laws in the United States, slave plantations and prisons, with regard to geographical, architectural, and operational design, and finally, the role of society in both systems. The framework for continuing slavery was set with the passing of the 13th Amendment and has since been expanded …


Trapped In The Shackles Of America's Criminal Justice System, Shristi Devu May 2018

Trapped In The Shackles Of America's Criminal Justice System, Shristi Devu

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

Abstract forthcoming


Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer Apr 2018

Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer

Michigan Law Review

A review of James Forman Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.


The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Publications

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame); and …


The Price Of Carceral Citizenship: Punishment, Surveillance, And Social Welfare Policy In An Age Of Carceral Expansion, Reuben Jonathan Miller, Amanda Alexander May 2016

The Price Of Carceral Citizenship: Punishment, Surveillance, And Social Welfare Policy In An Age Of Carceral Expansion, Reuben Jonathan Miller, Amanda Alexander

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The unprecedented rise in the number of people held in U.S. jails and prisons has garnered considerable attention from policy makers, activists, and academics alike. Signaled in part by Michelle Alexander’s New York Times bestseller, The New Jim Crow, and the unlikely coalition of activists, policy makers, celebrities, and business leaders on both sides of the political aisle who have pledged to end mass incarceration in our lifetime, the prison system has returned to public policy discourse in a way that was unforeseen less than a decade ago. On any given day in 2014, just over 2.3 million people were …


Class As Caste: The Thirteenth Amendment’S Applicability To Class-Based Subordination, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2016

Class As Caste: The Thirteenth Amendment’S Applicability To Class-Based Subordination, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

As part of a symposium marking the sesquicentennial of the Thirteenth Amendment, this Article briefly explores whether the Thirteenth Amendment applies to class-based subordination. While recognizing that the increasingly rigid class-based stratification of our society, rampant discrimination against the poor, increasing income inequality, and the concentration of enormous wealth in the hands of so few are all pressing social challenges that the legal system must address, this Article concludes that generalized class-based discrimination likely would not fall within the scope of the “badges and incidents of slavery” that the Amendment prohibits.

This Article argues, however, that the Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition …


Guns And Drugs, Benjamin Levin Jan 2016

Guns And Drugs, Benjamin Levin

Publications

This Article argues that the increasingly prevalent critiques of the War on Drugs apply to other areas of criminal law. To highlight the broader relevance of these critiques, this Article uses as its test case the criminal regulation of gun possession. This Article identifies and distills three lines of drug war criticism and argues that they apply to possessory gun crimes in much the same way that they apply to drug crimes. Specifically, this Article focuses on: (1) race- and class-based critiques; (2) concerns about police and prosecutorial power; and (3) worries about the social and economic costs of mass …