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Race and Profit in the Civil Courts

The relationship between the criminal legal system and racial subordination has been well-documented. Much less attention has been paid, however, to racial subordination perpetuated by the civil legal system. In a wide range of cases, including eviction, debt collection, and child support, civil courts routinely extract resources from poor, predominately Black communities, and transfer them to white-controlled corporations or to the state itself. Although some of this occurs through the substance of the law, how the courts interpret and implement the law plays an equally important role.