Make sure you have watched the film, The House I Live In (linked on the previous page), prior to beginning this assignment.
Assume you write for an online newspaper and have been tasked with writing an article about all of the following:
mandatory minimum sentences
the history of racializing certain drugs and applying differing mandatory minimums accordingly
the privatization of prisons and law enforcement
other “war on drugs” legislation
Use concrete statistics and details provided in the film and from this class to discuss how these pieces of legislation deal with race, social class, and offenders and whether or not the war on drugs is “effective” (the real question here is “effective at what” – eliminating drugs or mass imprisoning certain populations and creating large profits?). At the end of the article, provide either proposals for changing the laws and practices or an argument for why they should remain the same. Use critical thinking and a strong sociological imagination for this part!
Make sure to provide plenty of information from the film and our class to demonstrate your understanding. Remember to write it as if you are writing an online newspaper article, not a college essay. Your job is to inform the public about what you have learned.