In order to break the economic, social and psychological chains, people must first educate themselves. In America’s poor communities, African and Latino Americans are being incarcerated in large numbers. Once these people receive a criminal conviction on their records, they are legally discriminated against. Whether they’re applying for employment, housing, government assistance, or trying to continue their education one question that will be asked: “Do you have any criminal convictions or plead guilty to a misdemeanor or felony?”
What can help you break the chains of recidivism? Education! In 1994, President Bill Clinton passed the largest crime bill in United States history. Part of this crime bill consisted of $9.7 Billion in funding for adult and juvenile detention centers, while eliminating of “inmate” education. The Act also authorized the hiring of 100,000 more police officers. This is America’s funding for their ‘War on the Poor’. Did the passing of this act make rehabilitation in America’s prison system a ‘myth’?
Dr. John Henrick Clarke said it best: “Powerful people cannot afford to educate the people that they oppress, because once you are truly educated, you will not ask for power. You will take it.”
VICTIMS OF MISFORTUNE is a feature-length, social change documentary that will give a historical and current look at America’s criminal justice system and the discriminatory policies that people with a criminal background face, post conviction/release.
Victims of Misfortune will also take a closer look at America’s system of indentured servitude putting the practice in proper historical context. The United States has 5 percent of the world population, with around 25 percent of the world’s prisoners (over 2.4 million people behind bars). Nearly $70 billion is spent annually on probation/parole, prison and detention centers for immigration detainees. Once these people are released from prison or have a criminal record, they are then discriminated against for employment, housing, education, governmental benefits and some even deported.
The goal of Victims of Misfortune is to boldly confront the problems of America’s criminal justice system, immigration reform, public policies, and the impact of prison labor on American workers and also provide valuable solutions to those people who are being discriminated against. This feature-length documentary will be available for use in order to raise consciousness and create solutions.