This program, filmed at the Central Correctional Institution in South Carolina, examines the failure of current U.S. correctional methods, and the expense of that failure in human terms. Interviews with inmates and staff capture emotions ranging from rage to hopelessness, as they discuss the racism and violence indigenous to prison life. The overall picture is that a growing underclass is disproportionately punished under our current criminal justice system, and has little chance for rehabilitation.
In Westchester County, New York three unarmed black men were shot and killed by the police between 2008 and 2012. This is the story of one of those killings, and of the fight for justice for all the victims who came before and all who have come after.
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, Ken Burns tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories, and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice. Distributed by PBS Distribution.
This feature documentary follows Bryan Stevenson – lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative – through his experiences as a capital defense attorney and advocate for community-based reform. Interweaving watershed moments from Stevenson’s cases with insights from his clients, colleagues and members of his family, the film focuses on Stevenson’s life and career – particularly his indictment of the U.S. criminal-justice system for its role in codifying modern systemic racism – and tracks the intertwined histories of slavery, lynching, segregation and mass incarceration. Offering intimate access to Stevenson as he reflects on the transformative moments in his career, the film chronicles his work in Alabama, the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement and home to the Equal Justice Initiative, as well as the early influences that drove him to become an advocate for the poor and the incarcerated. Illuminating the power of memory in cultural change, True Justice instills hope of a brighter American future through the insights of this remarkable pioneer.
This two-part documentary presents a critical view of the current prison system from an abolitionist perspective. Breaking Down the Prison Industrial Complex, the first part, examines the racial and gendered violence of the prison system through the voices of two groups: women caught in the criminal justice system and leading scholars of prison abolition. Abolition: Past, Present, and Future, the second part, documents the recent history of the prison abolition movement through the organizing efforts of Critical Resistance and explores the meaning of abolitionist politics. Interviews with Melissa Burch, Susan Burton, Angela Davis, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and Dylan Rodriguez are featured throughout.