All people make mistakes. All of us are sinners. All of us are criminals. All of us violate the law at some point in our lives. In fact, if the worst thing you have ever done is speed ten miles over the speed limit on the freeway, you have put yourself and others at more risk of harm than someone smoking marijuana in the privacy of his or her living room. Yet there are people in the United States serving life sentences for first-time drug offenses, something virtually unheard of anywhere else in the world.

Michelle Alexander

About Michelle Alexander

Portrait of Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander (born October 7, 1967) is a writer, civil rights advocate, and visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary (New York City). She is best known for her 2010 book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, and is an opinion columnist for The New York Times.

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