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Anti-racism Resources

This guide is a starting point for members of the Fitchburg State University community seeking information and resources to learn about anti-racism, white privilege, and inclusion.

Systemic Racism in the Criminal Justice System

Racial Inequality in the Criminal Justice System

The Racism of the US Justice System in 10 Charts

Additional Reading:

New York Times: Why American Prisons Owe Their Cruelty to Slavery 

Business Insider: There's blatant inequality at nearly every phase of the criminal justice system

 

Policing & Race

Racial Profiling

Racial profiling is the practice of targeting or stopping an individual based primarily on his or her race rather than any individualized suspicion (Warren & Farrell, 2009)

A law enforcement practice of using race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious appearance as one factor, among others, when police decide which people are suspicious enough to warrant police stops, questioning, frisks, searches, and other routine police practices (Harris, 2020)

A Conversation With My Black Son

How Racial Profiling Hurts Everyone, Including the Police

Racial Profiling 2.0

How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time

Additional Readings: 

Police Brutality 

A Brief History of Police Impunity in Black Deaths

Mass Incarceration

Mass Incarceration (also called mass imprisonment) refers to the current American prison system that is characterized by comparatively and historically extreme rates of imprisonment, specifically the concentration of imprisonment among young, Black and Latino men from disadvantaged neighborhoods (Wildeman, 2012).

  • With less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. houses about a fifth of all convicts, at a cost of some $80 billion a year (Harris, 2017).
  • U.S. incarceration rate at 655 inmates per 100,000 people, which is nearly 7% higher than the rate of the next-closest country, El Salvador (614 inmates per 100,000 people), and far higher than the rates of other heavily populated nations, including Russia (415 inmates per 100,000 people) and Brazil (324 per 100,000). (Gramlich, 2018).

Mass Incarceration, Visualized

 

Mandatory Minimums refers to the legislatively mandated, meaning set by Congress, not judges, minimum prison sentences that are automatically assigned to specific types of crimes, most often drug offenses (FAMM, 2020). The case for mandatory minimum sentences was fairness and uniformity in sentencing across all jurisdiction. 

While the use of mandatory sentencing for certain crimes has been in use since the passing of the 1790 Crimes Act, which mandated the death sentence for crimes such as treason (Harris, 2017), the vast majority of prison sentences  were primarily the result of discretionary sentencing, where the a judge determines the appropriate sentencing. 

 

How Mandatory Minimums Helped Drive Mass Incarceration

US Anti-Drug Laws Aren't Scientific — They're Colonialist and Racist

Additional Readings: