UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES (10 minutes) tells the story of the "Mothers of the NY Disappeared", who traveled to Albany, New York, on January 3, 2001, to urge reform of the Rockefeller Mandatory Minimum Drug Laws, during Gov. Pataki's "State of the State" address. These draconian laws, established in 1973, severely limit judicial discretion and have had a profound negative impact on families and communities of color.
Terrence Stevens, featured in the film, is paralyzed from the neck down from childhood from Muscular Dystrophy. He received a fifteen year to life sentence on the first offense of possession of five and a half ounces of a controlled substance. On January 3, 2001, with the help of Judge Jerome Marks, he received clemency, after serving almost nine years as a total care patient in Green Haven Maximum Security Prison.
He is now a spokesperson for reform of the Rockefeller Mandatory Minimum Drug Laws and is director of In Arms Reach, which Nina Rosenblum and Mr. Stevens founded together. In Arms Reach provides East Harlem youth of incarcerated parents with a community-based arts, counseling, and mentoring program. It strengthens family ties and empowers young people, often traumatized and stigmatized by parental incarceration to lead more productive, crime-free lives. The program focuses on reinforcing positive behavior and decreasing emotional withdrawal by nurturing self-confidence and creative skills.