Matt- Lawyer/Filmmaker/Organizer

“People think that people who are in prison deserve to be there and that they’re a certain element of the population that just can’t get life right and so prison is what they need.

I think that is so wrong when you start looking at it. It’s that law enforcement specifically targets communities that are poor and communities of color especially, that we don’t do to other parts of society. We don’t do it to the white teenagers in the suburbs. All the stats show this. We give one penalty for the black teenager on the streets of Philly and we give no penalty for the same behavior where I grew up in Jenkintown PA. If we were caught with beer or a joint or something they would say ‘get out of here’.

If you think people deserve to be there then there would have to be so many more white people and so many more white collar criminals and people that ruined our economy. Nobody went to jail. Who we think of as criminal has more to do with stories we tell and stereotypes than who is actually breaking the laws. That story extends beyond people who are convicted. It’s the guy on the street who is stopped or questioned or frisked and he’s never broken a law. Statistically a white man with a record is more likely to get hired than a black man with no record. Employers can look past the white man’s record as a mistake but with the black man they think he’s done something he just hasn’t been caught yet.”

Matt Pillischer- Documentary Filmmaker “Broken on All Sides”/Lawyer/Organizer

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