Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African-American Studies

First Advisor

Robin Jackson

Second Advisor

Dr. Maurice Hobson


The nexus of the “War on Drugs” and associated discriminatory sentencing policies like the “three strikes” rule and Georgia’s “Two Strikes” sentencing laws, have resulted in the disproportionate incarceration of marginalized populations in the United States. This has induced other negative consequences, intended or otherwise (e.g... re-entry barriers of employment, denial of the right to vote, housing affordability and the breakup of the family unit). The “Two Strikes” rule implemented in Georgia in 1995 contributed to an increasing in incarceration. I propose to critically examine Zell Miller’s “Two Strikes” legislation as the culmination to the various crime bills and sentencing laws that enabled a variety of adverse outcomes for disadvantaged communities. I intend to employ a mixed methods approach. A quantitative to measure statistical evidence of disproportionate incarceration and a narration of the lived experiences of ex-offenders. My qualitative method will analyze and interpret the impact of sentencing laws.


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