Most Americans take for granted the idea that they will succeed more than their parents did. But recently many studies have shown that Americans are not as socially mobile as their European counterparts. Nowhere are the consequences of that immobility so stark than in the criminal justice system.
Eight years ago, Jazree was like any other eight-year-old hanging out with friends and experiencing important milestones of her youth. She finished Elementary school and started the emotional roller-coaster called puberty. She even started having crushes — crushes on girls. All of these experiences impacted Jazree’s future, but one experience overshadowed all others. Jazree’s dad was sentenced to seven years in prison for possession of an unloaded firearm by a felon.
Imagine you’re a judge. A 19-year-old young man named Ronald D. Evans comes before you. He has been convicted of selling drugs and your job is to sentence him fairly. If you’re like me, you’d be pretty skeptical that such a young man was a cigar-chomping, mansion-owning drug kingpin, who deserves an overly harsh penalty. But maybe you’d still conclude he deserves some prison time. Not a lot, but just enough so that the punishment fits the crime.
If you follow Brave New Films you already know that the United States locks up more people than any other country on Earth. And you know that the 40-year-old War on Drugs has done nothing to decrease drug addiction.
But did you know your race determines your chances of going to prison? That the incarceration of women is on the rise? Or that there’s a pipeline that sucks kids in from school and deposits them behind bars at alarming rates?
That’s why Brave New Films has just released a playlist of short motion graphics that challenges your assumptions about mass incarceration.