The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, presents pages of statistics and legal citations on American criminal justice policies, comes at a time when “declining crime rates and exploding prison budgets have made conservatives and liberals alike more ready to question the wisdom of keeping nearly 1 in 100 Americans behind bars.” It also is controversial and provocative, arguing that the war on drugs and unequal enforcement of criminal laws have legalized old forms of discrimination regarding employment, housing, voting rights, educational opportunities, and other public benefits.
2017-18: Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II
Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II by Richard Reeves provides a powerful narrative about the 120,000 Japanese-Americans and aliens forced from their homes and into prison camps following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Reeves’ book passionately describes the experiences of individuals and families and invites reflection on the fragility of fundamental legal rights.
2016-17: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebeca Skloot is a fascinating exploration of issues touching medicine, healthcare policy and ethics, genetics and identity, property rights, race, and class. Best of all, it is a well-told story that is hard to put down once you’ve started.
2015-16: Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson recounts Stevenson’s experiences representing people on death row as part of a nonprofit law practice and demands that lawyers see the world from another’s perspective.