Incarceration in America is currently a hot topic. Not only is it expensive to incarcerate, African-Americans are the largest population in prison—mainly for addiction-related issues. Latinos, women and individuals with mental health problems also fill out the prison population. In fact, women in prison have become a growing trend. However, the country is discovering incarceration instead of treatment comes at a tremendous cost to society in many ways. While the early message from legislators was an act of being tough on crime, the reality is that the nation overall is not safer.
American Friends Service Committee and Voices of Hope Productions joined forces with the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ) to support storytelling for community groups and policy organizations devoted to men and women returning home after incarceration. The first three films are the result.
A Failed System was a collaboration between NJISJ (Second Chance Campaign) and Voices of Hope Productions. No Where to Go and Healing Justice: Transformed Lives were made with the support of the NJISJ, Integrity House, and Women Who Never Give Up, Inc. The films were produced with an accompanying online user facilitation guide and advocacy toolkit.
While working with NJISJ on the Second Chance Campaign, a printed and digital testimonial kit was also created from voice recordings made during majority leader Assemblywoman (now Congresswoman) Bonnie Watson Coleman's citizen hearings.