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ISS 210-015 Society & the IndividualDr. Sarah Prior13th film worksheetNAME: Kelley HeronWarning: This film discusses and shows images of violence, racism, and discrimination.Before you watch the film, respond to the following:1. When you hear the word prisoner, what images and terms come to mind?When I hear the word prisoner, I think of a person who is in jail for a single or multiple crimes. I imagine someone behind bars and serving jail time. I also think of a prisoner as one being held captive - this could be for necessary and for unnecessary, illegal reasons. 2. This film addresses the injustice of mass incarceration and race – the disproportionate incarceration of poor people of color, particularly black and brown men. Take a moment to examine where you are concerning race. Write down a couple of words describing your state (ex: sensitive, struggling with seeing racism, angry, etc.). Although I can be sensitive towards the topic because it is such a big issue still today in the world, I am a white female who does not experience racism. It makes me angry and it disgusts me to think that people of color are still treated as if they are different than another person in any way. It is an unfair and cruel world, especially on the topic of race. 3. Write down 1 – 2 questions you have about mass incarceration. One question I have about mass incarceration is what exactly it is. I have heard of it and how it’s a form of punishment for crime but I’m not aware of the details and extent of it. After watching the film, answer the following questions:1. How did you feel after viewing 13th? Do you think the ultimate message of the film is hopeful?After viewing “13th”, I was faced with a lot of new things that I never knew before. I never knew how bad our prison system was and the abundant increase in the prison population over time. I do not think this film offers a very hopeful message. I believe it has a concerning tone, and it is trying to convey the message to people that there is a problem occurring and has been occurring for a very long time. Racismstill exists in the world - and this film shows just how bad it is.2. The film establishes the connections to our country’s history of slavery and segregation. The film tells us that systems reinvent themselves. What are the systems of power that are used to maintain or dismantle institutions that perpetuate racism?Although the thirteenth amendment made slavery illegal, there is still acts of racism and some could argue slavery is still present. Our justice system is a system of power that still perpetuates racism. 97% of the people who are in jail have a plea bargain. This means that almost all of those in jail are attempting to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit because the thought of going to jail for the mandatory minimums is so torturous. Hypocritically, sweatshops and exploiting the poor are looked down upon in the United States to other countries, however, our prison system is taken advantage of bysome corporations and it is deemed as acceptable. Federal inmates are used as free labor to do work forcorporations and companies such as JC Penney’s, Victoria’s Secret, and Idaho Potatoes - they are profiting from punishment. This shows that our justice system does so little to protect prison rights. Imagine how little they do to protect Black lives - especially those put in prison. This is specifically shownin the case regarding Kalief Browder, who decided to not take the plea. He had the option of committingto a crime he did not do, or not take the plea and have the possibility of being in prison for up to 15 years. Browder sat in prison for 3 years without being charged for anything and his mental health began to be affected. He hung himself 2 years after his release from jail. This is not the only person that has experienced this same problem. This is an oncurring issue that has still not been resolved and our justicesystem, as well as many other systems working together in the U.S., is responsible. 3. What role do you think media plays in how the American people are taught to understand and view black men? (provide specific examples).TV shows like “Cops” would provide audience with this idea that Blacks were these animals who needed to be caged and make people (Whites especially) think: “thank god these people are in prison orelse those crazy people would be walking on my block”. News channels began to refer to Blacks as “super predators” and this name stuck to people. Black communities even began to believe or buy in to these policies that went against their own children. 4. Many politicians (on both sides of the aisle) have apologized for the role they played in our current incarceration system. Do you think these apologies are enough? Why/Why not. Bill Clinton admitted his 1994 Crime Bill a mistake. Bill and Hillary Clinton acknowledged that it solved some problems but also caused many - there were longer sentences and others believe it lead to a surge in the imprisonment of black people. I do not think these apologies are enough. The only thing that has been done is the use of words to apologize for their actions. Nothing has been put to action to undo the damage and people of color are still put in jail for unfair reasons. It is a problem that is still not resolved.5. What role did the “War on Drugs” play in creating our prison complex?The “War on Drugs” was a problem created when crack cocaine was invented. It was a less expensive version of cocaine that could be smoked. This drug was found mostly in the poor, black communities and law-enforcement became aware of this. Police would invade homes and go to many lengths to catchpeople of color in possession of crack. However, the rich white communities that are susceptible to cocaine, were not intruded and if someone such as a white male was caught, they received nothing more than a slap on the wrist.6. What is the “prison industrial complex”?Daniel Wagner, an Investigative Reporter of Buzzfeed, refers to the prison industrial complex as the system of mass incarceration and companies that profit from mass incarceration. For example, Securus Technologies is a company that makes a profit off of calls made in prisons. If one earns aminimum wage in the state of Maryland, it would take an hour and a half of working to afford just a ten minute phone call with an inmate. 7. How did this film shape your understanding of the

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MSU ISS 210 - Worksheet 2

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