The United States holds more people in cages than any other country. Social media users share memes of Tigers in metal boxes or elephants with thick chains around their necks. I agree it’s disgusting, but I would love to see more memes about how people are being treated the same way. Some are incarcerated when they did nothing wrong as I just watched on a Netflix documentary.
How to Fix a Drug Scandal takes place in Amherst, MA, close to Northampton, the town I was born in. This is what originally sucked me into the program. I am a little homesick which comes naturally after a new move, so I decided to watch this documentary simply to see the familiar streets.
I recommend watching it, so I won’t spoil it for you. In a very small nutshell, it’s about two state drug lab chemists and their criminal activity while they were working, including tampering with evidence, friendly chatter with prosecutors via email, and personal drug use. Some of the samples from actual convictions came up negative for drugs when they were listed as positive, tainting drug convictions.
For real, watch it. I hope it pisses you off, but no matter what your opinion about this documentary is, maybe it’ll make you think about the fact that more people are in prisons in the US than in any other country.
“They should have known better. It was their fault. That’s what they get. They have a record.”
Whatever makes you feel better about tossing a person in a cage and forgetting about them does not align with the fact that they’re people who deserve to be treated like people no matter their background, record, and race. But it’s easier to wash our hands of it with our Bath and Body Works pumpkin spice soap.
The War on Drugs isn’t working. All it’s doing is breaking up families and tossing people away. Does someone belong in jail for 20 or 30 years because they were caught with some cocaine a few times? That’s too long! Then, once they are incarcerated, it’s simply too difficult to meld with the free population if they’re freed into the dirty snow holding a cardboard box of all their stuff.
Untwist your panties because I’m not talking about major, violent drug traffickers, but of simple users who need help. Heck, maybe they don’t even want help, but a simple possession that happens too many times will send them to a metal room, and if they get out, they’ll never be released from the white-knuckled stigma that clutches them with dirty talons.
US is “the land of the free” and Lord knows I’m aware of who the brave is. I love my country but can’t permit myself to see past the fact that it’s hypocritical to call this place free when it’s technically not true. “As of May 2021, the United States had the highest prisoner rate with 639 prisoners per 100,000” (Statista). This is more than any other country. Yes, I know I already said that.
If one of my kids was in jail on drug charges and the lab technician who was in charge of testing the substance was in jail due to misconduct at her job, I would absolutely be fighting to get them out, but it’s more than that. People are wasting away in US prisons because the systems have corrupt sectors, bias, extreme and blatant racism, or simple time management issues.
Before I close, I must mention that there are more people in US prisons than in any other country.