Free Essay with the Analysis of the Netflix Documentary, 13th

Published: 2022-06-28
Free Essay with the Analysis of the Netflix Documentary, 13th
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Criminal justice
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1476 words
13 min read

The 13th documentary is a film reconnoitering on the connection between justice, mass incarceration, and justice in the United States. The title 13th reveals some light on a vicious clause which transforms slavery from a lawful business model to a correspondingly permissible approach of punishment for offenders. Ava DuVernayis as the director dives into an unwavering, well-informed and comprehensive scrutiny of the American system of incarceration, particularly how individuals of color have been affected by the prison industrial complex. The investigation could not have been more opportune nor more exasperating. The movie shapes the case of this piece by stirring extents of shudder and barbarity that astounds the audience to high levels. This documentary leaves people shaken and troubled before finalizing on a visual note of optimism that is meant to place us on the hook as activists of transformation. The film puts a precise emphasis on the damaging impacts that the clause has brought on the black community and also the manner in which corporations in the United States and several government administrations have played a role in maintaining the irretrievably destructive criminalization progression in black communities alive for ages.

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The film commences with the statement that of all the individuals who are incarcerated worldwide, 25% of them are confined in the United States even though America comprises 5% of the sphere's population. There is an explosive increase in the population of America's prisoner population from the 1970s until now. 372, 293 was the number of prisoners in 1970, and in 1980 increased to 513,900, but currently, the population has augmented to two million. Presently. Approximately 2.3 million Americans are imprisoned and among these are African-American men who take up 40.2%. The fact becomes more appalling after bearing in mind that of the United States population, the African-American men occupy merely around 6.5%. In more concrete terms, the number of African-Americans who are under criminal administration exceeds the number of total black slaves in the 1850s. This drastic increase happens even though the rate of crime has been decreasing since the late 20th century. Just recently, in the 2016 presidential election, some politicians played a significant role in generating fear of crimes, for instance asserting that there were heightened rates in New York City, a statement that has been proven fallacious.

The level of inclusive crimes has been at a minimal in comparison to the past, but Republican candidates tend to declare otherwise for purposes of creating fear. Contractors of private prisons incline to have come into the market for reasons of satiating the ultimatum because sentences and arrests amplified forming an independent group that had personal economic inducements of criminalizing negligible activities and making the sentences long so that the capacity of prisons would remain full. To facilitate the supply of local works, businesspeople and politicians fortified prison construction and gave an inducement to retain the volume of prisons (Brady 68). After several decades, research has revealed that private prisons are not effectual anymore, and they tend to more obnoxious than the ones operated by federal or government. The act of extensive incarnation of adults has relentlessly impaired the generation of the black community and their kids (Twidell 2). It was emphasized that there could be no respect in the United States devoid of esteem for the law.

War and drugs were declared as the primary public enemy, and this utterance brought an era of drugs whereby they were visualized as a criminal matter rather than a health problem. This increased the prisoner's population because people were being criminalized for minor offenses such as possession of marijuana. The declaration of a fight against drugs by Nixon resulted in the epoch of southern strategy. He commences the recruitment of southern whites previously known democrats into the Republican fold urging them to vote for the republican. The southern strategy has been debunked as a political cunning that played the role of decimating the black community then again won the vote of the southern white. Mainly the war on drugs was aimed at throwing the black individuals in jail. The black race is considered an enemy a fact that has been asserted by John Ehrlichman who was Nixon's advisor. He says there were two opponents in 1968 during the Nixon campaign and Nixon White House comprising the black community and anti-war left. They were aware that they could not emerge unlawful by going against the black or the war. However, these communities could be interrupted by having the public link blacks with heroin and hippies with marijuana and then profoundly criminalize the two. Criminalizing the blacks in the United States has for a long time been an approach of political oppression because a high number of them do not have the aptitude of voting while on parole or prison and they under no circumstances retrieve the right(Lopez, Vanessa, Arto 416). According to Angela Davis, Reagan twisted the oratorical war of Nixon into a verbatim fight against drugs specifically on crack cocaine whose criminalization was not comparable to powder cocaine, again ruining black people. During a prison sentence, one modicum of grain was rendered equivalent to a hundred of powder. Paradoxically, the leader who debatably, profoundly contributed to the origin of the existing prison industry complex is Democrat Bill Clinton and the challenging regulating policies are now front and centered around the national conversation.

Organizations have gained profits from the privatization of prisons as well as prison labor with part of the convicts getting little compensation of 12 cents per hour while working for companies such as Walmart and Victoria's secret. In a clip of Paul Weyrich a co-founder of ALEC was speaking, he says that they need all people to vote, but he does not want everybody to give a vote. The influence in elections rather unequivocally rises as the population of voting decreases. Florida's Stand Your Ground Law is a classical law for ALEC that came to pass in the year 2005. George Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch guard who participated in shooting and killing Martin, a 17-year old boy. He was able to escape lawful penalties partly because of Florida's Stand Your Ground rule. Later, ALEC helped in the approval of other comparable rules in various nations resulting in a boom in the sale of guns. During this period, Walmart was among the nation's largest retailers of firearms not forgetting a member of ALEC. Systems of oppression in the country are said to be resilient and tedding to reinvent themselves openly. The initial private prison organization in America was Corrections Corporation of America, and in the year 2010, it left ALEC allegedly because of a dispute flickered by Arizona SB. This was a law reinforced by ALEC that assisted in filling detention centers run by CCA by allowing the police to stop all the people that were supposed to be an undocumented immigrant. Through its policies, the ALEC played a prominent role in increasing the population of prisoners.

In most cases, oppressive policies will undoubtedly affect the poor and so does mass incarceration. Being black in the United States is directly linked to a given class, and being white has a status regardless of the financial progression. If people are white, they are products of the history chosen by their ancestors, but for the black community, they are products of the history that their ancestors did not probably choose. Its bright side comes automatically by being white contrary for the black people.

Primarily, incarceration in the United States was created under racial segregation and considering its origin, the likelihood of visualizing it otherwise will be minimal. Slavery came to an end a long time but what people do not realize is that it is continued under other spheres. Incarceration is only an extension of slavery, denying people their rights. Regardless of the offenses that people make, there is an aspect of human dignity, the respect for life and according to the 13th documentary, this dignity has been violated allowing for uncouth treatment of human life. It may have an advantage in encouraging people to respect the law so that they do not undergo brutality, but at the end of the day, human life is comprised. It is an incentive to police violence, and with its practice, the aspect of racial segregation will always be a factor because its operation is not just. For these and other reasons, incarceration should not be continued as a form of punishment in the United States.


BRADY, KAT. "CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN THE LAND OF ALOHA: THE IMPACTS OF INCARCERATION ON CHILDREN, FAMILIES, AND OUR COMMUNITIES." Contemporary Research and Analysis on the Children of Prisoners: Invisible Children (2018): 68.

Lopez-Littleton, Vanessa, and Arto Woodley. "Movie Review of 13th by Ava Duvernay: Administrative Evil and the Prison Industrial Complex." Public Integrity, vol. 20, no. 4, 2018, pp. 415-418.

Twidell, Theodore. "13th: Ava Duvernay's Stark Exploration of the Mass Incarceration Crisis Facing Black Men." Tapestries: Interwoven voices of local and global identities 6.1 (2017): 21

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