Posts Tagged ‘War on Drugs’

Summed up in 60 Seconds

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Eugene Jarecki’s deconstruction of the War on Drugs in his documentary, The House I Live In, initially pissed off the white, dreadlocked pothead sitting in front of me at the theater. I think he and his friends expected to pump their fists with other persecuted weed smokers (a.k.a. privileged Caucasian stoners who got suspended from school once), so he was less than stoked to be hit with a message of personal responsibility instead.

It wasn’t long, though, before The House I Live In turned his grumbling to rapt attention: the movie was thoroughly compelling. And I DON’T LIKE PRISON GUARDS, ‘ya feel me? Yet I fell in love with the turnkey at the center of this story.

Racial hierarchies and the economics of incarceration are the two strongest arguments for seeing the film – and for recommending it to others. From fantastical sentencing to deplorable healthcare and the prison-for-proft lobby, we can no longer rely on local or state governments to know what to do with us if we break the law. At the same time, we live in an age where our laws are like tuna nets. Decisions about our criminal courts are driven by the needs of our jails, and our jails are being built to accommodate increasing desperation in our economy. Recidivism, it turns out, is highly profitable, and thus essential to the incarceration industry.  (more…)