"The New Jim Crow" is about systemic racism in the American criminal justice system. It focuses on how the "War on Drugs" unfairly targets African-American men and how the justice system functions as a form of race control.
The book was published by Michelle Alexander in 2010 under the title "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." The book's arch encompasses the idea that systemic problems in the justice system have created a racial caste system in an era where overt racial discrimination is prohibited within society.
The book's six chapters span American history from the birth of slavery to Barack Obama's presidential election. One main focus of the book is America's culture of mass incarceration and a disparity between criminal sentences handed down to white people and those of minorities.
Another major claim in the book is that people of color are not as informed as white people about their legal rights. This leads to abuse within search-and-seizure laws and dragnet operations shifting focus to minorities because police can conduct operations in a manner that is less scrutinized by authorities. The author also claims that discrimination based on crime convictions are legal and have become socially acceptable replacements for race-based discrimination.