chapter  2
42 Pages

Background, context, and description of the social justice organizations

WithTim Goddard, Randy Myers

As compared to all other countries, the US's criminal justice system stands alone. The most obvious and audacious attribute remains the number of people under some form of US correctional control. The US jail population, which now stands at about 750,000, has quadrupled since 1980. Public officials, backed by an uneasy public, created mass incarceration and the carceral state as a mechanism to maintain a social order shaken by changes in the global economy and domestic social and cultural shifts. As with mass incarceration, serious violence remains concentrated in a small number of US communities. Most Americans never directly experience crime control and punishment as race and class structures entrance into the criminal justice system. Despite unprecedented carceral and shadow carceral expansion, the US remains a violent country, at least in comparison to other advanced democracies.