After you watch the movie, use these discussion questions to reflect on how mass incarceration impacts the Black community and our society. Give some thought to what responsibility we must change this system and improve our society and what actions we can take to bring about those necessary changes.

Please complete the assignment on a word document using New Times Roman-12 font and follow APA guidelines. This assignment must be at least three pages and should not exceed five.

  1. The movie discusses how imagery and stereotypes have been, and continue to be, used to incite fear about Black men to justify locking them up and brutalizing them. What issues do you see with how the current media and entertainment industries portray and criminalized Black men? Which narratives do you notice? Which stereotypes do you recognize? What effects do you think these things have on our society? What steps can you take to counter or disrupt these narratives?
  2. In the documentary, we learned that a private prison corporation, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), has a hand in getting legislation passed (SB1070) that directly helped them increase profits by increasing the criminalization of immigrants and increasing the number of people held in their facilities as a result. What do you think should be done to prevent corporations from impacting legislation, and what role do you think you can play as a community member in helping to bring about that change?
  3. The movie discusses how the Prison Industrial Complex uses the free labor of incarcerated people to fuel the production of goods for major companies and private industries like Mcdonald’s, Boeing, Microsoft, Anderson Flooring, and even Idaho potatoes, much like the sweatshops that we denounce overseas for exploiting free labor. What role does capitalism/consumerism play in Mass incarceration, and what, if anything, do you think we can do as consumers to potentially impact change and help end mass incarceration?
  • Throughout the movie, we hear the words: ‘criminal,’ ‘convict,’ ‘prisoners,’ ‘inmates,’ and ‘felons.’ What images/thoughts and feelings do those words invoke when you hear or see them? Now, think of the words: ‘formerly incarcerated person,’ ‘person with a criminal record,’ or ‘someone directly impacted by the criminal legal system’; What images/ thoughts/ feelings come to your mind when you hear those words? How do those images differ? Does this difference in language change the associations that you have with these members of our communities? How can we actively work to use words that center on the humanity of people impacted by the system instead of words that generalize and dehumanize them?
  • The first reconstruction of America ended slavery. The second, advanced civil rights, we want the Third Reconstruction to expand the ‘we’ in ‘we the people’ and make liberty and justice for ALL a tangible reality. What does your vision look like for the third reconstruction of America?

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