"African American Men and the Prison Industrial Complex" is an article published in The Western Journal of Black Studies by Earl Smith and Angela J. Hattery. The thesis of the article is the detrimental effects of mass incarceration in the African American community in the United States. The co-writers argue that the United States Criminal Justice System is systemically biased towards African American males when it comes to incarceration for non-violent crimes.
They also state that a culture of racist attitudes towards blacks by the predominantly white society contributes to the volatile relations between the community and the criminal justice system, citing the unjustified arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as an example of racial profiling.
Smith and Hattery believe that mass incarceration by the prison industrial complex creates profits for privately-own prisons and contractors that work in the penal system, while simultaneously depriving the African American urban community of male breadwinners, thus perpetuating poverty inner-city neighborhoods. They liken this to the slavery era when blacks were exploited and "incarcerated" all for the benefit of a white society's economic growth.