Prison-reform activists in Madison, Wisconsin, have recently released a video documentary chronicling injustices in the state penal system as part of an educational project on prison issues called "Correcting Corrections."
Madison artist and journalist Marshall Weber produced and directed the half-hour video, Crimes of Punishment. It relies on interviews with prisoners, social workers, state legislators, and prison staff to introduce viewers to the racism, abuse, and failure to rehabilitate inmates in the corrections system.
Weber pays particular attention to the suppression of inmates' freespeech rights, focusing on the case of Wisconsin prison journalist Adrian Lomax. Lomax spent a year in solitary confinement for critical articles he wrote as an inmate for an alternative Madison newspaper about the institution he was in and the brutality of one of its guards.
Although the documentary centers on conditions within prisons and jails in Wisconsin, Weber says the issues he presents have currency throughout the nation. "We know that, in general, our corrections systems aren't working and that they're racist, and we have to ask ourselves what we are going to do...