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The "Correcting Corrections" Project Distributes Prison Video Documentaries

Community activists in Madison, Wisconsin have joined together to develop the Correcting Corrections Project. Correcting Corrections combines art and journalism to create a series of educational videos, to organize community meetings, to arrange for radio and cable television broadcasts, and to stimulate media coverage which will inform the public about prison and jail issues. Prisoners, former prisoners, visitors, staff from prisons and jails, legislators and community workers describe their experiences by attending town meetings and giving interviews for the videos. This grassroots effort hopes to open serious and critical public dialogue to examine and challenge existing penology. Although the focus is on Wisconsin, the content is relevant nation-wide. Two videos have been released so far, Part III is in production and more videos are planned.

Video co-producers Glenn and Jackie Austin and Marshall Weber are independent video artists working on prison issues. (Jackie is also the President of Wisconsin-CURE, Inc.) They have released two half-hour shows, both available on a one-hour VHS tape. Part I, Crimes of Punishment, is a documentary giving an overview of the problems in prisons and jails. Featured in the video is the story of Adrian Lomax, a Wisconsin prisoner placed into segregation for writing a newspaper article which allegedly jeopardized staff and prison security. Also featured are community workers, prisoners and former prisoners who raise questions about the practice of American penology today. Part II, The CIA of State Government, is a documentary about how a Wisconsin prisoner named Donald Woods was killed by staff at the Waupun Correctional Institution in September 1990 and the killing was covered up. The video examines the whitewash of this killing, the protests against it, and the opposition of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) to the establishment of an inmate death review board to investigate prisoner deaths. It was the ability of the Wisconsin DOC to operate without any outside oversight which led one legislator to nickname the agency "the CIA of state government."

Price per VHS tape: $18.00 + $2.25 for postage and mailer. (Make check or money order out to INSIDE VOICES, and mail c/o Wisconsin-CURE, Inc., PO Box 9452, Madison, WI 53715. Not tax-deductible, but all proceeds generated by this project will be used to create more public information about prison and jail issues.)

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