Race and Criminal Justice

The Justice Department recently released a report on its investigations into the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and also the practices of the Ferguson police department. They found the practices of the police department heavily focused on “collecting revenue” for the city’s coffers, which led to practices which “both reflect and exacerbate existing racial bias, including racial stereotypes.” They saw African American neighborhoods “less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.A great commentary by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

What caused the disproportionate incarceration of African Americans? What underlying problems need to be fixed, and what can we do to help? See Michelle Alexander’s take on this issue (video).