This week’s video is a little different than those I’ve shared in the past. Usually, the idea is to keep things light at the end of the week. This go around, though, I wanted to share the trailer for a simply fantastic documentary by Eugene Jarecki, called “The House I Live In.” It deals with the consequences of the U.S. “War on Drugs,” including the overuse of incarceration.
I have to say here that I have a complex relationship with this topic. I have family members who spent their entire law enforcement careers engaged in the battle against drug trafficking. To my mind, they are heroes for the sacrifices they made and the dangers they faced dealing with the dangerous thugs and narco-terrorists involved in the drug trade.
At the same time, our country’s overarching drug policy has been, and continues to be, largely a failure. It is based on incorrect assumptions about the nature of addiction, the role punishment plays in the human change process, and the inability of a retributive system to make any meaningful difference in the lives of those with chemical health problems.
In short, I believe we’ve struck the wrong balance between rehabilitation and retribution, and we’re now paying the price for that choice. That’s what this week’s film explores. Also, if you’re interested, This American Life did an excellent piece on the film that takes some of these ideas even a step further. It’s worth a listen, if you’re so inclined.
The movie trailer is below, and the full-length film is widely available for streaming on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and other outlets.
Trailer for “The House I Live In”
Have a safe weekend!
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