Michelle Alexander describes the emergence of the largest prison system in human history, a prison system fueled by a decades-long war on drugs that has categorically failed to reduce both the presence of drugs and the prevalence of drug addiction in the United States.
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After cycling in and out of the criminal justice system for nearly 15 years, Susan Burton gained freedom and sobriety and founded A New Way of Life Reentry Project in South Los Angeles.
Susan Burton and A New Way of Life have caught the attention of Michelle Alexander, acclaimed author The New Jim Crow, the best-selling study of the US system of mass incarceration. Alexander points to Susan Burton’s reentry program as a model for the kind of bold initiative needed to build what she calls a “new underground railroad” – a network of families, faith communities, and organizations dedicated to providing desperately needed support and love to people at risk of incarceration, families with loved ones behind bars, and people returning home from prison.