Contact: Oriana J. Bolden,Director (510)637-8262 firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Brittany Ballard,Producer/Field Producer(310)488-062 email@example.com
What is really at stake in a system where corrections officers work overtime to take care of their children and inmates are separated from their children for up to 14 years for non-violent crimes they were set up to commit? Tearing women away from their families and leaving behind a legacy of shattered dreams - is this what federal mandatory minimum drug laws were designed for?
The system is not working; in fact, many legal experts have called mandatory minimums a“perversion of justice.” Yet judges, frustrated in their ever-expanding obsolescence cannot do much;prisoners sentenced to 15 or more years can spend nearly a lifetime seeking elusive justice whilethe hands of attorneys on both sides are tied. Mandatory minimum sentencing poses dangers to not only individuals but also society. Underrepresented communities feel the major brunt of ineffectual sentencing laws in multiple ways, i.e., families are torn apart; people of color often receive longer jail terms thereby decimating many urban communities; and police policies of using snitches/informants with quotas disproportionately land poor people of color in jail for crimes they did not commit, for sentences far longer than those that would be dealt by judges allowed to use their discretion in sentencing.
CURRENT CASE PROFILE: Guadalupe Zuniga - North Carolina (# 0653282) is serving 18 years and three months for living in a home with her eight year old daughter and boyfriend who she did not know was trafficking cocaine. The boyfriend served a much lighter sentence even though the drugs were his and despite the fact that he testified at her trial that she did not know what he was doing and had no knowledge there was a stash of illegal drugs in their shared apartment. By interweaving the stories of five women- one prison guard, one prisoner, one judge, one prosecuting attorney and one defense attorney- In Justice will tell the real life stories of the mandatory minimums’ impact on family, justice and hope.
HELP US TELL THIS STORY. Donate. Advise. Help us locate the real women who can tell this story from each seat in the courtroom–the judges, the attorneys, the prisoners, the guards, the children and the many families affected by mandatory minimum sentencing.
SPONSORED BY the San Francisco Film Society