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Media

Documentaries

This is our collection of films that highlight a variety of experiences with incarceration and education. Many are from the Echoes of Incarceration project -- a documentary initiative produced by youth with incarcerated parents.

The Last Graduation

Documents the history of higher education in NYS prisons and addresses elimination of TAP and Pell for incarcerated students. Winner of the 1998 Black Maria Film Festival Juror’s Choice Award, and the 1998 Philadelphia Film Festival Gold Medal.   Presented at film festivals including: 1998 NY Film Festival, 1998 Critical Resistance Conference, 1998 Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and on PBS stations throughout the US.

Re-imagine the Future: From Prison to College

This DVD resource was created for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYS DOCCS) by College Initiative and Ibis Productions, Inc. In this motivational film, formerly incarcerated students speak to their counterparts who are still incarcerated. Utilized in NYS DOCCS Transitional Service units.

Passport to the Future: Accessing Higher Education in an Era of Mass Incarceration

This documentary film addresses the issue of criminal justice screening for college applicants. Highlights how college admissions policies create unnecessary barriers for formerly incarcerated applicants. 

Echoes of Incarceration 

This first film from the Echoes Project introduces viewers to the worlds of children with incarcerated parents. Through the stories of four young people, as well as experts and advocates in the field, this film creates an emotional, compelling case for the importance of ongoing parental contact. The DVD has been shown in prisons, universities, trainings around the country, and won the “Speaking Out” award at Media That Matters Film Festival.

Visiting - Through the Youth Lens

Research has shown that a sustained relationship with a parent in prison is one of the strongest factors in both reducing a child's trauma, and also in reducing that parent's rate of recidivism.  Yet children often face huge resistance to visiting a parent. This film digs into the challenges, sorrows, and incredible joys of visiting a parent in prison, and addresses one of the deepest misconceptions about children with incarcerated parents. View short version on Upworthy.

Caring Through Struggle 

Youth filmmakers explore the hidden issues faced by grandparents and caregivers raising children with incarcerated parents. Includes 12-minute extra chapter for social workers.  Created with help from the NYC Department of Aging Grandparent Resource Center. 

Resiliency Stories

From Obie-winning playwright Daniel Beaty, to celebrated hip-hop artist F.Stokes, to high school-age poets, to Echoes crew members’ own autobiographical pieces, this DVD collects short documentary success stories about artists and activists who have had a parent in prison, and what it took for them to find their voice. 

Crew member Kharon Benson was told all his life his father was away in the military.  At age 11 he got a letter from his father and learned he’s actually serving a 25-to-life sentence.  In this powerful film, Kharon explores his complex emotions of that discovery which ultimately lead him to bring a camera to Sing Sing to ask his father all the questions he’s always wanted to ask.

Parenting from Behind Bars and During Reentry (In Production)

This film will explore the complex, challenging, but vitally important role that parents can play in their children's lives from behind bars. The goal is to raise awareness about the importance of supporting the parent-child relationship, and also to provide a resource DVD for parenting classes inside prisons. 

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