Broken on All Sides: Sunday, Sept 14

Broken on All Sides, a documentary about race, mass incarceration, and new visions for criminal justice in the U.S., will be screened Sunday, September 14, 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Jewish Center, 435 Nassau Street, Princeton.

Following the film, there will be a discussion using Jewish texts to understand the Biblical values underpinning this justice work.

Participants include Matt Pillischer (filmmaker) and Tracey Syphax (entrepreneur and author of “From the Block to the Boardroom.” Suggested donation $5.

The documentary  began as a way to explore, educate about, and advocate change around the overcrowding of the Philadelphia county jail system. The documentary has come to focus on
mass incarceration across the nation and the intersection of race and poverty within criminal justice.

The documentary centers around the theory put forward by many, and most recently by Michelle Alexander (who appears in the movie), that mass incarceration has become “The New Jim Crow.” That is, since the rise of the drug war and the explosion of the prison
population, and because discretion within the system allows for arrest and prosecution of people of color at alarmingly higher rates than whites, prisons and criminal penalties have become a new version of Jim Crow. Much of the discrimination that was legal in the Jim Crow era is today illegal when applied to black people but perfectly legal when applied to “criminals.” The problem is that through subjective choices, people of color have been targeted at significantly higher rates for stops, searches, arrests, prosecution, and harsher sentences. So, where does this leave criminal justice?

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