Posts Tagged ‘Incarceration’
Highlighting the fact that women make up 7% of the U.S. prison population, a Forbes.com commentary focuses on findings that the female prison population is growing at twice the rate of their male counterparts.
Click here to read the Forbes commentary.
San Diego’s KPBS Radio released a 30-minute video documentary on life in prison in California as part of its Project Envision initiative. The documentary explores life behind bars and the mounting costs of incarcerating an aging population of prisoners in the state of California. Because of California’s “three strikes” and other tough-on-crime laws, about 20% of its prison population is now serving a life sentence.
Click here to view the documentary entitled “Life In Prison: The Cost of Punishment”.
Tamara Perkins, a volunteer film director/producer, investigates incarceration issues going on at San Quentin prison.
This couple, Jewel Mitchell and Dean Cage, constantly wrote each other letters throughout Dean’s entire 14 year sentence. As a result, they kept their love going. In this video, they re-read the letters that they would write to one another and talk about how they kept their relationship, faith, and love.
The Medea Project is an ongoing theatrical performance that focuses on issues of incarcerated women. Founded by Rhodessa Jones, these art-based performances are geared toward reducing the number of incarcerated women in the United States. Jones began the theater while conducting classes at the San Francisco County Jail.
photo from: Can We Get There By Candlelight (2002)
The newest dramatic story entitled Rubba Girl is “A cautionary tale using flash animation that tells the story of one girl coming to know herself as well as supporting safe sex and a right to ones own body. It is a coming of age story told from the point of view of the incarcerated woman.”
Check out more about this initiative at The Medea Project.
A woman discusses the struggle that she goes through with having an incarcerated brother, the strain it has put on her marriage, and how it has turned her life around. She is grateful for the support group because they are all going through the same struggle.
This week the team has been working like crazy to get this website up and running (albeit in a beta stage). It’s critical to get it just right, because it’s inside ‘Gabriel City’ where the impact of what we do takes shape. The good news is that a website is an ever evolving entity and what doesn’t work will reveal itself over time with use and can be adjusted accordingly. We are hoping that many of you will offer the kind of criticism and contributions that will allow us to achieve our goals.
So here are the “whats” and the “whys.”
Gabriel City has two main “whats.” On one hand we want to be a community created site, think Wikipedia, for all matters concerning criminal justice. From how to visit a loved one behind bars (google maps for jails and prisons) to what types of organizations exist to support victims of crimes, from links to local, national and international news sources, to advice and ideas about critical issues of our day; the site will be an important and comprehensive resource for the millions upon millions most directly affected by crime.
The other emphasis is for the site to be a storytelling venue. Imagine a kind of YouTube for criminal justice content. There is no doubt that there is a strong link between the experience of incarceration and the artistic expression it inspires. And yet, while there certainly is an enormous amount of talent and creativity within prisons, this will not just be an art center for inmates.
No, Gabriel City exists to harness the power of storytelling for the greater good of society. We want to break the endless cycle of crime and incarceration that destroys lives and communities which ultimately only leads to more crime. By empowering people with a way to tell their story, and an audience to listen to it, we begin to heal the wounds of time and crime. That is why Gabriel City needs to grow.
To be clear, we are neither romantics who believe all criminals are victims of the system, nor do we believe that all inmates are animals unworthy of forgiveness. And while victims of crime must not be silenced nor their pain ignored, policy issues affecting the criminal justice system can not be guided strictly by their suffering. Finding the correct balance is not easy and requires dialogue, reflection and lot of hard work and dedication. That is what we are going to launch….together.