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Radical Philosophy Review

Volume 18, Issue 2, 2015

Special Project: Political Theory and Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration, Part 2

Andrea Pitts
Pages 267-285

White Supremacy, Mass Incarceration, and Clinical Medicine
A Critical Analysis of U.S. Correctional Healthcare

Through a study of Fanon’s writings on colonial medicine, this paper focuses on the intersection of clinical medicine and mass incarceration. I argue that correctional medicine operates as an extension of colonial medicine via structural white supremacy. To clarify this position, I first draw from the recent literature on mass incarceration to highlight the relationship between carceral punishment in the U.S. and structural white supremacy. In the second section of the paper, I combine my analysis of structural white supremacy and mass incarceration with an analysis of colonial medicine. Here, I focus on Fanon’s writings on medicine and health under conditions of structural oppression to clarify a pattern of violence inflicted upon communities of color and poor communities in the United States, i.e., the communities most affected by mass incarceration.

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