Bigger Than Incarceration: Angela Davis Talks Mass Criminalization, Mental Health and the War on Drugs

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I like to think of racism also as a way of acknowledging the fact that we continue to be haunted by the institutions connected with slavery.

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Bigger Than Incarceration: Angela Davis Talks Mass Criminalization, Mental Health and the War on Drugs
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a href=”http://”>Bandele made it a point to center how the war on drugs has severely impacted women. This country fetishizes violence against systemically disempowered and black bodies. And where sexual and state violence intersect, we also often find the bodies of black women. This was evidenced by the case of Daniel Holtzclaw, the now former Oklahoma City police officer accused of raping and sexually assaulting 12 black women and one black girl. He was convicted on 18 of 36 charges against him.

Several of his victims were drug users and/or had criminal records, and it is clear that the war on drugs emboldened Holtzclaw to victimize black women and girls whom society too often throws awayNobody really discusses the fact that *4 percent of all the women in the world live in the U.S., and yet 33 percent of all the incarcerated women live in the United States,”* Bandele said. “What does it mean that we have just exponentially removed our mothers and our grandmothers and our sisters from our communities? **”What harm does that cause,** especially black and brown communities?”

In response, Davis pointed out that “during the same period of time where the size of the world’s prison population increased by 10 percent, the size of the women’s prison population increased by over 40 percent.”

“This is a major trend, and I’ve always felt that regardless of the numbers, however, there are issues that we discover by looking very closely at the predicament of women in prison as we understand the relationship between intimate violence, of which so many women have experienced, and institutional violence or state violence,” Davis continued.

“And issues that we’ve become aware of over the last period, especially since the campaign around CeCe McDonald in Minnesota, has been the question of trans women prisoners,” said Davis and is.

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