The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander) is a must-read book for understanding the issue of mass incarceration and its effects on African Americans.
The House I Live In is a powerful documentary about the Drug War and mass incarceration in the U.S. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsBDvxy5qQY
Policing the Police is a Frontline documentary about the Newark Police Department and the efforts to reign in abusive policing practices in the U.S. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/policing-the-police/
Gideon’s Army is a documentary about the under-funded and under-resourced public defenders whose job it is to provide the poor with fair legal representation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fOkjgKz9Zg
The Central Park Five is a documentary about the case of five Black and Latino teenagers in New York who were unjustly convicted of raping a white woman and who spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before their convictions were overturned. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUfwUgRwKq4
13th is a documentary by filmmaker Ava Duvernay (Selma and the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time, the first black woman to direct a million-dollar Hollywood studio film) released by Netflix and tracing the history of incarceration in America from the 13th Amendment and onwards, with a focus on 1980-present. Duvernay interviews amazing voices of our time: from Angela Davis to Van Jones to Michelle Alexander.
Next America: Criminal Justice is a project of The Atlantic, with articles and video focusing on crime and punishment in the age of mass incarceration, supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.