Faculty Mentor

John Su


Ricardo Diaz is a junior majoring in English and Philosophy. He enjoys traveling and plans to visit every continent by age twenty-five. Ricardo made the Dean’s List in 2012 and is a recipient of the Ignatius Scholarship. After graduation in May 2015, he plans to pursue a Ph.D at a university abroad focusing in English literature.



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Michelle Alexander, in The New Jim Crow, argues that the American legal system is a racial caste system maintained by unequal drug laws, what she terms, “The New Jim Crow” laws. This essay explores the limits of her thesis in relation to Latino/a population in the United States. Specific attention is paid to the Latino/a population in Wisconsin where racial disparities in the penal system are the greatest in America. Analysis of government data suggests that Alexander’s research reproduces the tendency of the American legal system to define race in binary terms: black and white. In effect this leaves Latino/a Americans without accurate representation within the American legal system.

Publication Date

Summer 2013


Chicana/o Studies | Social History

Ricardo Diaz - Latino/a Mass Incarceration in relation to the “War on Drugs”