AUTHOR OF THE NEW JIM CROW
MASS INCARCERATION IN THE AGE OF COLOR BLINDNESS
Professor Alexander served as the Director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California. She holds joint appointments with the Moritz College of Law and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University.
Presented by Justice Works! Co-sponsored by ACLU Washington; Black Prisoner’s Caucus; Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites; Concerned Lifers Organization; Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy; Hotel Max Seattle, SEEDArts, a Program of SEED; STEPS: Steps To Ethically Profiling Stability; University Behind Bars, Washington Defender Association
LASTING REFORM REQUIRES SOCIAL CHANGE – NOT JUST NEW LAWS
1 in 30 adult Washingtonians are behind bars or under community supervision. An estimated 1 in 20 children is affected at any one time. This impact falls with severe disparity depending on race. Washington is less than 4% Black. Our prison population is 20% Black. Our 3-Strikes population is 40% Black.
Professor Alexander traces how racial disparity in the criminal justice system nationwide connects with the historical Jim Crow, creating a new form of the old social ill. She presents her vision for grassroots organizing for social change to enable policy changes that put Jim Crow behind us forever.
The evening begins with short presentations by champions of recent positive developments that put Washington at the center of the nation’s criminal justice reform movement:
In Farrakhan v Gregoire, January 2010, Federal court ruled that people in Washington State prisons should vote because the racial disparities in Washington’s criminal justice system cannot be explained in race-neutral ways. A 2009 law change restores the right to vote to approximately 167,000 Washingtonians. There has been a resurgence of the campaign to reform 3-Strikes. Despite positive developments, our criminal justice system remains one of the most racially disproportionate nationwide.