Today there are more African-Americans under correctional control, — in prison or jail, on probation or parole – than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. There are millions of African-Americans now cycling in and out of prisons and jails or under correctional control. In major American cities today, more than half of working-age African-American men or either under correctional control or branded felons and are thus subject to legalized discrimination for the rest of their lives.
— legal scholar Michelle Alexander. On Monday’s Fresh Air, Alexander talks about how the mass incarceration of African-Americans in the War on Drugs has undermined many of the gains of the Civil Rights movement.