"This larger system, referred to here as mass incarceration, is a system that locks people not only behind bars in actual prisons, but also behind virtual bars and virtual walls - walls that are invisible to the naked eye but function nearly as effectively as Jim Crow laws once did at locking people of color into a permanent second-class citizenship.
The term 'mass incarceration' refers not only to the criminal justice system but also to the larger web of laws, rules, policies, and customs that control those labeled criminals both in and out of prison.
Once released, former prisoners enter a hidden underworld of legalized discrimination and permanent social exclusion. They are members of America's new undercaste" (Alexander, 2012, p. 12-13).
"Currently, 12 states and some 70 cities and counties have "ban the box" legislation on the books, according to the National Employment Law Project. The laws are meant to fight back against the widespread, automatic exclusion of job applicants with criminal backgrounds."