Monday, February 11, 2013

The House That Drugs Built


Eugene Jarecki’s documentary.

The following quotes have been excerpted from "The House I Live In," the recent documentary about drug addiction and law enforcement written and directed by Eugene Jarecki.


“We like to look at the war on drugs as black hats and white hats, and good guys and bad guys, and victims and offenders. And on the ground, it’s a lot more mixed up than that.”
—Criminal justice professor

“There’s no question that there was a passion with which the early narcotics enforcement culture pursued black America, even though the addict population was always distinctly biracial.”
—TV producer

“Because they’re addicts, they find themselves committing the same crime that just put them in jail, say, a week or so prior.”
—Police officer

“We’re locking up everybody just because we’re mad at them. We need to lock up people that we’re afraid of.”
—Drug offender in prison

“There are more African Americans under correctional control today than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the civil war."
—Writer, historian

“Sometimes I think you can trace any crime you want to drugs.”
—Police officer

“Everybody involved hates what’s going on.”
—Attorney

“Today the average person I sentence in a drug case is a non-violent blue collar worker who lost their job and then turned to manufacturing methamphetamine to support their habit. And we treat them like they’re kingpins.”
—Federal court judge

“People want to lock people up and then when their sentence is over, they expect them to be reformed, or a different person. If you haven’t given them skills or trained them, how can they be?”
—Corrections officer

“Nobody respects good police work more than me. The drug war created an environment in which none of that was rewarded.”
—TV writer

“I don’t think people fully understand, in the inner city, these kids are making rational choices.”
—Journalist

“Historically, anti-drug laws have always been associated with race.”
—Historian

“Prisons are almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. You build a bed, they fill the bed. It starts sucking in money at an astronomical rate. And it just grows and grows of its own accord.”
—Corrections officer

“Whenever you have a new drug introduced in society, you can say incredible things about that drug, and people will believe you.”
—Psychology professor

“I’d like to see empirical evidence be used in our shaping of public policy.”
—Ex-addict

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