An Ode to Mary

Article: An Ode to Mary

After watching this episode, I felt like I just needed to take a hot second and love on Mary. While I like all the kids, Mary I love.

For the past three episodes we’ve seen someone like Kyle – who got kicked out of several schools, the last of which for punching a principal – give up at the drop of a hat. In this episode he comes to school hungover and admits to smoking something, which I suspect is weed. He fools around in class, doesn’t pay attention, and then blows up if anyone objects. As the head teacher, Scott, notes: Kyle is his own problem.

Insights into life in solitary and one man’s first taste of freedom

Article: Insights into life in solitary and one man’s first taste of freedom

“I feel like I am developing some kind of skitsophrinia behaviors,” reads one letter. “I hear voices echoing as I try to fall asleep.” That’s how one New York prisoner describes his lengthy experience directly from solitary confinement. The New York Times took a look at some of the letters to the New York Civil Liberties Union from more than 100 prisoners who spend 23 hours a day in elevator-sized cells. The correspondance is part of the NYCLU’s efforts to change the laws around solitary confinement. New York is one of the few states that has not wavered from extensive use of solitary in its prisons.

San Quentin inmates explore green job opportunities

Article: San Quentin inmates explore green job opportunities

San Quentin probably brings to mind Johnny Cash’s legendary performance at the prison… or perhaps a particularly creepy episode of Lockdown. But green jobs? Yep… on Saturday, the Insight Garden Program (which attempts to rehabilitate prisoners through organic gardening) and the California Reentry Program hosted a green careers fair at the prison.

The Queen of prison

Article: The Queen of prison

Those same talented dancers/inmates at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines are at it again. This time, however, the tribute is not for Michael Jackson. Another effeminate and over-the-top singer gets their start treatment. Mr. Freddie Mercury would no doubt be proud that these prisoners, who learn to dance during their rehabilitation…

Interview with the creators of THE CAPTIVE

Article: Interview with the creators of THE CAPTIVE

Sundance Channel recently sat down for an interview with Karin Diann Williams & Stuart Hynson Culpepper, creators of THE CAPTIVE. Watch THE CAPTIVE now at Sundance Channel Digital Shorts.

What was the inspiration for The Captive?

Karin: Believe it or not, we started with just the idea that we wanted to make a web series. We had an inkling that the microseries was about to find its audience and really explode as a popular form.

Stuart: We saw all the activity blossoming on YouTube and sites like it and knew a huge audience was there and they were wanting something beyond the user-generated content, something thoughtful and well produced. So we took the plunge. Part of the idea for the themes and action in The Captive came from studying the kind of person we thought were going to engage: someone fairly tech literate and independent in their thinking.

Can prison life be greener? The Sustainable Prisons Project thinks so…

Article: Can prison life be greener? The Sustainable Prisons Project thinks so…

You probably don’t use the words “sustainability” and “prison” in the same sentence very often. The housing and feeding of inmates requires huge amounts of water and energy, though, and generates tons of waste. The Sustainable Prisons Project, a partnership between the Washington State Department of Corrections and the Evergreen State College, works to make prisons more efficient… and perhaps even reduce recidivism rates by providing “green collar” training to inmates.