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Think outside the cell

September 12, 2012, by VII Photographers

The United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world. For the first time US history, more than one in 100 American adults are in prison. China is second, with 1.5 million people behind bars.

Support systems for persons leaving prison are stressed because of the over-taxed prison and reentry system. VII Photographers Jessica Dimmock, Ashley Gilbertson, Ron Haviv and Ed Kashi have teamed to produce a multimedia documentary about the experience of reentry and the stigma formerly incarcerated persons endure while reentering society after release from prison in the United States.

On September 18, VII will release the short film on the website of the Think Outside the Cell Foundation and news organizations globally.



  • Anonymous
  • Gustavo Corral

    I don’t think we need a film to tell us what we all already feel in our hearts : that the sins of others are our sins, ‘ask not for whom the bell tolls’ and all that. 

    Let’s therefore move onto what can be done :  Our nation should either : 
     a) legalize drugs and have more drug dealers on the streets
     b) reduce sentences for crimes ( I’m in favor of reduced sentences for impulse criminals like legitimate rapists )
     c) make it less expensive to imprison criminals; stop voting for raises for prison guards, make criminals work off their sentence, etc. 
     d) find some way to generate fewer criminals ( prison is after all only the product of crime rates and convictions – and I don’t think people are advocating artificially reducing convictions. )

    Oh! Btw, some of you will think that in order to implement (d) we really need to reengineer our society into a nicer one. That’s why I think we should read up on some history so as to find a government program that has worked out that way. 

     Personally, I think it we need to have a guidance councilor type of program (Yes!) – you know, identify people at risk; follow up with them; tell them to ‘watch it!’ 

     Do any of you remember those old Kojak episodes, where Kojak would bring someone in for ‘questioning’ ? Well, something like that, only on a grander scale.