The Project: Documentary film, Criminal Injustice, examines racism and mental illness in the criminal justice system, and discusses the necessity of reform to bring about equal justice under the law for people of all colors and states of mind.
Inspiration: “This project arose out of work I did with Lavern [McDonald, US Associate Director] starting last fall, when I took her Politics, Punishment and Culture class. Then I did an independent study with her, and read Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, about how mass incarceration is today’s system of racial control. For this project, I worked with US English teacher Lyda Ely, who is also a documentary filmmaker.”
What I Learned: “I learned about how much is happening to remedy the injustices that I knew existed, but I also learned that these injustices are even worse than I had expected. The problems are systemic, and the human suffering is enormous; but more and more people seem determined to bring about change. I also learned how to conduct interviews, and felt myself becoming better at it each time.”
What’s Next: “I’d like to keep working on editing the film until it’s ready for release!”
Value of JW: “I feel incredibly lucky to be at a school like Calhoun where it’s possible to do this kind of work and pursue a specific passion that might not fit into a typical high school curriculum.”