Perversion of Justice

Perversion of Justice

Harsh mandatory Federal sentencing guidelines mandate that a first-time drug offender and young mother of three faces life in prison. (Media That Matters)

At age 25, Hamedah Hasan moved away from an abusive relationship to live with cousins in Omaha, NE. Although she knew her housemates were dealing drugs, she believed the situation was safer than the one she had left behind. But when her cousins were busted, Hasan was charged as a conspirator in the drug operation.

Pregnant and already the mother of two daughters, she faced a mandatory life prison sentence due to drug conspiracy laws. Hasan successfully appealed her case reducing her sentence from life down to 12 years. But the appeal was later overturned adding 15 years back onto her sentence.

Seventy percent of women in prison are low-level offenders and most of them are mothers. The film highlights the plight of thousands of families across the country caught in the web of harsh mandatory sentencing guidelines. It won the Changemaker Award at the 8th Annual Media That Matters Festival. First-time director Rev. Melissa Mummert is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and advocate for incarcerated women who decided to make this documentary while serving as a chaplain intern at a Federal prison in California.

The Media That Matters Film Festival showcases short films on important topics of the day. Every June, Media That Matters presents a new collection of twelve shorts.

CHANNEL: Media That Matters Film Festival

Length: 7:44

Producer and Director: Melissa Mummert
Editor: Dorne Pentes
Cinematography: Jeffrey Roberts