May 10, 2012
"[A] person convicted of a crime today might lose his right to vote as well as the right to serve on a jury. He might become ineligible for health and welfare benefits, food stamps, public housing, student loans, and certain types of employment. These restrictions exact a terrible toll. Given that most offenders already come from backgrounds of tremendous disadvantage, we heap additional disabilities upon existing disadvantage. By barring the felon from public housing, we make it more likely that he will become homeless and lose custody of his children. Once he is homeless, he is less likely to find a job. Without a job he is, in turn, less likely to find housing on the private market—his only remaining option. Without student loans, he cannot go back to school to try to create a better life for himself and his family. Like a black person living under the Old Jim Crow, a convicted criminal today becomes a member of a stigmatized caste, condemned to a lifetime of second-class citizenship."

— James Forman, Jr., Racial Critiques of Mass Incarceration: Beyond the New Jim Crow87 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 21, 28–31 (2012).

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