The Gabriel City Story
When filmmaker and Highest Common Denominator Fund Board of Director Jonathan Stack first began filming in Angola Prison in 1996 the breadth of human misery – of both inmates and their victims – was palpable. He had come to make a film about the death penalty, but it was the rich stories of the men who lived there, and storytelling’s capacity to transform their lives that drew him back time and again. All those who he encountered over the years, from crime victims to prisoners, wardens to guards to lawyers, children to parents and spouses; each had a story to tell and many were moved by merely having someone listen.
Indeed, with more than 1 in 100 American adults incarcerated, the United States imprisons its citizens in greater numbers and at a higher rate than any other nation in the world. These incarceration rates affect many more than the millions who sleep behind bars. There are the children of prisoners and the grandparents who care for them, corrections employees who spend their days and nights behind bars, the victims of crime who must find a way to heal, and the countless legal professionals and advocates who work each day to create a more just system and a safer society. But these millions of people are fragmented and rarely have an opportunity to form a cohesive and unified community.
In today’s media-rich society, when we have so many ways to tell, hear, and contribute to the story of criminal justice in America, Highest Common Denominator Fund has created an online community, a place that will address criminal justice issues with honest and compelling content created by all of us who choose to make a difference. We hope that by engaging you – the tens of millions of Americans in this country most affected by the criminal justice system – together we can break this cycle of incarceration.
Welcome to Gabriel City. Join the conversation. Become a storyteller.