In 1972, New York State established what became known as "The Rockefeller Drug Laws," the strictest legislation against drug trafficking passed by any state in the union. While many felt the laws were unnecessarily harsh under Ronal Reagan's War on Drugs, the laws spread to to 48 other states.
Thanks to the Rockefeller Laws, nonviolent drug offenders now frequently serve longer sentences than those convicted of rape, armed robbery, arson, or other crimes that threaten the lives and safety of others.
Hip-hop mogul and activist Russell Simmons has launched a media campaign to repeal the Rockefeller Laws in favor of more humane legislation that focuses on treatment rather than punishment. Lockdown, U.S.A. is a documentary which examines the history of the Rockefeller Laws and Simmons' battle to raise awareness about the destructive impact of these laws.
Original Languages: English
Running Time: 84 min.