In this article, I argue that mass incarceration belongs to a category of social status interventions by which the modern state either withholds the ordinary protections and benefits of the law from outlawed groups or subjects them to private punishment based on their mere membership in those groups. In the US these groups include immigrants and resident Latinos, the homeless, the poor and poor blacks, sex workers, and ex-convicts. Outlawry is a fundamentally anti-democratic practice that cannot be justified in terms of deterrence and is incompatible with public safety.