From Labor Studies
Mass incarceration has been one of the most important social policy failures in the U.S. in the last half century. This process has driven millions of members of the poorest sectors of the working class to prison and jails with African-Americans and more recently Latinos being the chief victims. While trade unions would be logical organizations to contest mass incarceration, they have consistently ignored the importance of mass incarceration for working class communities of color, instead choosing to defend the jobs of their members, even when their members are complicit in locking up innocent people and subjecting them to onerous conditions. This article is one of the first attempts to define mass incarceration as a working class issues and critique the trade unions general failure to take responsibility for poor people against the War on Drugs, truth in sentencing laws, racial profiling and other measures that have enabled the incarceration of millions of marginalized workers.
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