Wednesday, April 17, 2013
THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE
With the so-called "sequestration" rolling out, our justice system is getting even more crowded and under served then it was becoming anyway because of the prison-for-profit corporate takeover. One of the saddest scenes in this documentary, THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE, was when two of the victims of the injustice that was the "Central Park Five" case, who were well spoken and clearly well educated, spoke proudly about getting their college degrees while unfairly away in prison for most of their youth and early adulthood and then mentioned that that education-in-prison program had been eliminated.
As anyone who reads this blog even on occasion knows I'm a big fan of old movies, especially from the 1930s and '40s. One of the main themes of prison movies back then was how bad wardens and unfair treatment of prisoners led to bad things but reformers who treated prisoners with fairness and gave them some true rehabilitation triumphed. Now, when I watch those movies, or ones that include the crude and brutal prisons of even earlier times, I think about how our society has lost all compassion, or I should say a lot of our society but not all, for maltreatment of prisoners and the bad justice meted out to the poor and often innocent young men, especially so-called "brown" and "black" men, our prisons are disproportionately full of.
Anyone who remembers the case of "The Central Park Jogger" that dominated the news in the late 1980s, should see this documentary, as should anyone who cares about justice, discrimination, police malfeasance and the well being of fellow human beings.