Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Economic Inequality, Racism and Trauma: Growing Up in Racist Combat Zones and Living in Racist Prisons

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Previous research explains inner city violence through neighborhood mechanisms of social control without recognizing the traumatic conditions that resemble conditions of combat. This grounded qualitative analysis based upon interviews with incarcerated men illuminates the combat-like conditions in which boys become men resulting in multiple traumatic experiences and significant loss of family members and friends. Moreover, these life history narratives also reveal that many young men of color are victimized by systemic institutionalized racism within the criminal justice system. We propose a radical alternative to current practices that offers legitimate job opportunities and mental health treatment rather than harsh punitive responses.