July 10, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of The Connecticut State Farm for Women, now known as the York Correctional Institution for Women. Over the past century this institution has had a fascinating and often changing mission and history. The prison has played various roles in the life of East Lyme, from active town partner to essentially invisible entity. This summer the library will examine this institution from many points of view. This project is sponsored in part by a grant from Connecticut Humanities.
The book is The New Jim Crow : Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.
"Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness."