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Summarizing, comparing and analyzing the reasons for mass incarceration in America given by the
authors in these two works using APA in-text citation
format:
1. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, a
highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar. She is a former Ford
Foundation Senior Fellow and Soros Justice Fellow, has clerked for Supreme Court Justice
Harry Blackmun, and has run the ACLU of Northern California’s Racial Justice Project.
Alexander is a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary and an opinion columnist for
the New York Times.
Professor Alexander has a definite point of view with which you may agree or disagree – this
is not intended to be a “neutral” work, like your textbook. While the entire book is well worth
reading, and is available digitally for free through the John Jay Sealy Library website, your Writing
Assignment will focus on the Introduction and Chapter Two “The Lockdown”, PDFs of which I have
included in the Course Materials section of our class Blackboard page.
2. Slobogin, Christopher. (2015). How Changes in American Culture Triggered HyperIncarceration: Variations on the Tazian View. Howard Law Journal, 58(2), 305–331. Professor
Slobogin is the Milton Underwood Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University School of Law
where he is the Director of their Criminal Justice Program and an Affiliate Professor of
Psychiatry.
Professor Slobogin, in this peer-reviewed scholarly journal article, describes cultural and
legal differences between the United States and Europe which may help explain why mass
incarceration is so much more of an issue here than it is in other countries.
Successful completion will include:
• A summary of the arguments made by Professor Alexander in the two sections of her book
listed above, together with some of the evidence she cites to back up her arguments.
• A summary of the reasons given by Professor Slobogin as to why mass incarceration is a
bigger problem in the United States than it is in Europe, with examples.
• A section where you compare the arguments made by these two professors.
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• A respectful analysis of the different arguments made by these two authors and a statement
as to whose arguments make the most sense to you as a way of explaining America’s mass
incarceration problem and a discussion as to WHY you made this choice. You may state
whether you agree or disagree with Professor Alexander’s overall premise and why. Do you
believe she has correctly described the American criminal justice system, or do you believe
she had ignored or minimized other important factors that should be considered? You may
discuss Professor Slobogin’s article comparing and contrasting European and American
legal and cultural issues and state whether you agree or disagree that he satisfactorily
provides reasons sufficient to explain America’s mass incarceration problem separate from
an intent to continue Jim Crow principles by another name, and why you believe that.

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