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In Post Racial America Prisons Feast on Black Girls

In Post Racial America Prisons Feast on Black Girls
Rachel Pfeffer, New America Media | March 15, 2011

African American girls and young women have become the fastest growing population of incarcerated young people in the country. Efforts to stop mass incarceration focused on black girls are almost nonexistant in government policy, the media, foundations and academia.

Recently, the Thelton Henderson Center for Social Justice at the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Law School took the bold and necessary step of organizing a day-and-a-half free event titled, “African American Girls and Young Women and Juvenile Justice System: A Call to Action.”

The beauty of this conference was the focus on black girls and the passionate energy to create a path for action among the participants.

Academics and activists, among them formerly incarcerated African American girls and young women, gathered together from across the divides of class, age, race and place to talk about what we know about these young people, their interaction with the criminal justice system–and what we are going to do about it.

Sociologist Nikki Jones of UC Santa Barbara, and Meda Chesney-Lind, University of Hawaii opened up the conference with a look at the statistics.

“No”, said Jones, “Black girls are not committing more crimes, even though they are being incarcerated in record numbers.”  (Read more)


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