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Maintaining racial inequality through crime control: mass incarceration and residential segregation

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The use of the prison system to incarcerate has been one of the state’s primary control mechanisms since the early 1970s, immediately following many civil rights changes. A system of mass incarceration has entailed wide and continuous racial disparities which maintain inequality across social institutions, such as the economy and political participation – the institutions in which the civil rights movement sought to secure equality. This analysis examines the association between disparate crime control and racial residential segregation, another major social institution targeted by the civil rights movement. Links to theoretical discussions on racial formation, law and crime control, and residential segregation to advance our understanding of inequalities and the reciprocal relationships between these institutionalized processes are presented.
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Keywords: colorblind racism; crime control; gentrification; mass incarceration; racial formation; residential segregation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work,Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant,MI,48859, USA

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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