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Mobilized by Injustice

Criminal Justice Contact, Political Participation, and Race

Hannah L. Walker

Publication Date - May 2020

ISBN: 9780190940652

216 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock


Activated by injustice, members of over-policed communities lead the current movement for civil rights in the United States. Responding to decades of abuse by law enforcement and an excessive criminal justice system, activists protested police brutality in Ferguson, organized against stop-and-frisk in New York City, and fueled the rise of Black Lives Matter. Yet, scholars did not anticipate this resistance, instead anticipating the political withdrawal of marginalized citizens. In Mobilized by Injustice, Hannah L. Walker excavates the power of criminal justice to inspire political action. Mobilization results from the belief that one's experiences are a consequence of policies that target people like one's self on the basis of group affiliation like race, ethnicity and class. In order to identify how individuals connect their experiences to a collective struggle, Walker centralizes the voices of those most impacted by criminal justice, pairing personal narratives with analysis of several surveys. She finds that the mobilizing power of the criminal justice system is broad, crosses racial boundaries and extends to the loved ones of custodial citizens. Mobilized by Injustice offers a compelling account of the criminal justice system as a spark for the formation of a movement with the potential to remake American politics.


  • Brings immigration into conversation with research on American criminal justice
  • Sheds new light on how the criminal justice system impacts Latinos
  • Examines both policy feedbacks literature together with research on social movements and the participation of marginalized people
  • Includes in-depth interviews on the topic which have never been published before; brings together a vast array of survey data amounting to over 8,000 completed survey interviews

About the Author(s)

Hannah L. Walker is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. Her research examines the impact of the criminal justice system on American democracy with special attention to minority and immigrant communities. Previously, she served as a post-doctoral fellow with the Prisons and Justice Initiative at Georgetown University, and received her PhD in 2016 from the University of Washington.


"This thesis is particularly timely and will interest readers looking to explore the societal consequences of a renewed national focus on civil rights." -- G. Christensen, CHOICE

Table of Contents

    1 Mobilized by Injustice
    2 The Political Consequences of Distrust
    3 The Political Logic of Injustice
    4 Injustice in Black and White
    5 Policing Latinos
    6 Prisoners are Political

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