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Filmography - Prisons, Sentencing, Rehabilitation, and Death Penalty: Home

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012

Filmography - Prisons, Sentencing, Rehabilitation, and Death Penalty

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible.  All DVDs listed below are located in Media Services on the Lower Level of Bender Library. To search the library’s complete videos holdings on prison topics (including VHS tapes) search the library catalog at:


100 a day: Justice and reparation in California's legal system. 2009.  1 streaming video file (34 min.). In 1991, Rick Walker was wrongly convicted of murder and spent the next 12 years in prison. This program tells the story of his exoneration and the political struggle to secure financial compensation for him from the state of California. In addition to an interview with Walker himself, the film presents detailed conversations with key players in his case and the partisan budget battle over reimbursing him. Interviewees include Alison Tucher, the lawyer who proved Walker's innocence; George Kennedy, the Santa Clara County District Attorney at the time; and Joe Simitian, the state assemblyman who fought to pass the bill that gave Walker.  Streaming video

A death in the family. 2000.  Eye for Justice: Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (53 min.). A Death in the Family is an anatomy of what family members experience as they gather to say goodbye to their loved one, witness his execution, then bring his body back home to bury him. During the long course of judicial appeals, the Bannister verdict had been regarded by many as a grave injustice. Jesse Jackson and Ed Asner had petitioned the Missouri governor for clemency. But Bannister s attorney felt that the Missouri attorney general was determined to "kill A.J.". On the day of the execution, a small group of anti-death-penalty protestors gathered outside the prison, while pro-death-penalty activists carried signs that read "Die. Die. Die." The family members are allowed one last visit. His mother laments : "It s not only the condemned man they re punishing. It s a whole family." Live footage is combined with interviews, haunting still photographs, and an evocative musical score to create an almost unbearable portrait of loss. Clearly, the effect of the sentence is far reaching, way beyond the life of the person who is judged. Member of a series: Eye for Justice (series).  Streaming video;1650397

A history of punishment. 1998.  1 streaming video file (53 min.). The forms of punishment a society chooses, and what exactly it deems a crime, tell a great deal about that society's values. How is justice pursued and punishment meted out? This program looks at the history of punishment, beginning with early compensatory forms of justice, Hammurabi's Code, and the Law of Moses. Socrates' execution and Roman and medieval forms of justice are analyzed in a historical context, underscoring the fact that punishment was often intended as a deterrent rather than as a reformatory measure. Contemporary forms of punishment, including the death penalty, are discussed, along with the ways in which these sentences reflect what society values. (53 minutes).  Streaming video

A matter of life and death: The politics of abortion and capital punishment. 2001 .  1 streaming video file (30 min.). When it comes to situations involving life and death, the United States is strongly polarized. Liberals commonly support the legality of abortion as a private matter of personal choice but condemn the death penalty as inhumane, while conservatives often support execution as a form of justice but denounce abortion as legalized murder. How did these points of view become a part of the ideologies of the left and the right? This program traces the development of political stances on life-and-death issues, exposing the lack of a consistent life ethic in mainstream American politics. (29 minutes).  Streaming video

Abu Ghraib: A torturer's tale. 2005.  1 streaming video file (25 min.). Javal Davis was imprisoned for assaulting inmates at Abu Ghraib, but insists he is not a torturer. His fellow MP Ken Davis was never implicated, having reported the abuse to superiors. This program presents in-depth interviews with both men, detailing their side of the story and conveying their disillusionment with Pentagon officials who wanted interrogations pushed up a notch.Featuring nightmarish descriptions and images from inside the prison-highlighting deplorable conditions endured by inmates and guards alike-the program also includes insight into the mentality of reservist Charles Graner, currently serving a 10-year sentence for Abu Ghraib torture. Some content may be objectionable. (25 minutes).  Streaming video

Adam Abdul Hakeem: One who survived. 1993.  Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (41 min.). Twenty-year-old Adam Abdul Hakeem was the first person in American judicial history to be found innocent by reason of self defense in a police shooting case. This gripping documentary tells the story of Hakeem, (formerly named Larry Davis), who tried to extricate himself from a police-run drug ring in which he had participated for six years. In doing so, it examines the relationships between law enforcement agencies, the criminal justice system, and the African-American community. The police raided Hakeem's apartment without a warrant, claiming he was a suspect in the murders of four drug dealers in the Bronx. Hakeem shot six policemen and escaped. After a controversial trial, he was acquitted on the major charges, but sentenced to five to fifteen years for illegal possession of a weapon. While in prison, he endured continual beatings, to the point where his spine was severely injured and he remains paralyzed. While this film does not exonerate Hakeem, it points up an institutionalized form of prejudice and brutality within the criminal justice system. These issues are particularly timely in view of the racial strife that is erupting nationwide. Postscrpt: Adam Abdul Hakeem was kiilled in prison in 2008.  Streaming video;1652523

American chain gang.  1998.  1 videodisc (56 min.). This documentary film explores the recent resurrection of chain gangs in American prisons. It includes interviews and comments of male inmates from the Limestone Correctional Facility in Alabama and female inmates of Arizona's Estrella Facility. Prison officials and public officials are also interviewed.  DVD 2233

America's brutal prisons. 2005.  1 videodisc (48 min.). Visits correctional institutions in Texas, Florida and California, uncovering penal systems with deeply ingrained cultures of punishment, where prisoners are routinely abused, even tortured, by prison guards. The film features videos recorded by prison surveillance cameras and correction officers themselves, supplemented by interviews with former prisoners, a warden, a prison doctor, inmates' relatives, attorneys and former correction officers who have broken the code of silence.  DVD 1699

At the death house door. 2009.  1 videodisc (98 min.). An intimate look at the death penalty in the state of Texas through the eyes of Pastor Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous 'Walls' prison unit in Huntsville. During Pickett's remarkable career he presided over 95 executions, including the world's first lethal injection. After each execution, Pickett recorded an audiotape account of his trip to the death chamber.  DVD 6031

Beyond torture: The gulag of Pitesti, Romania. 2007.  1 videodisc (35 min. ). This documentary describes the torture and brainwashing that occurred at a prison in Petesti, Romania during the communist period. Using interviews with survivors and graphic paintings the persecution of Romanians is documented.  DVD 4366

Black death in Dixie: Racism and the death penalty in the United States. 2007.  1 streaming video file (26 min.). Challenging viewers to look beyond mainstream media treatment of the death penalty, this program portrays capital punishment as a blunt instrument that disproportionately targets racial minorities and the poor. The film highlights several difficult issues, concepts, and social conditions-including statistics on the racial makeup of America's death row population; questionable convictions resulting from mistaken identification; the emotional and psychological toll on those wrongfully convicted; and the lingering effects of the Jim Crow era-or what many have called America's 20th-century apartheid system-in which lynching functioned as de facto capital punishment. (26 minutes) Streaming video

CCI: Case study of a Southern prison. 1993.  1 streaming video file (30 min.). This program, filmed at the Central Correctional Institution in South Carolina, examines the failure of current U.S. correctional methods, and the expense of that failure in human terms. Interviews with inmates and staff capture emotions ranging from rage to hopelessness, as they discuss the racism and violence indigenous to prison life. The overall picture is that a growing underclass is disproportionately punished under our current criminal justice system, and has little chance for rehabilitation. (30 minutes).  Streaming video

Classic studies in psychology. 2007.  1 streaming video file (38 min.). This program brings to life five of psychology's most significant studies: Bandura's Bobo Doll Experiment, 1961; Milgram's Study of Obedience, 1963; Ainsworth's Strange Situation Experiment, 1971 and 1978; Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment, 1973; and Loftus's Eyewitness Testimony Experiment, 1974. Footage from the original experiments and from contemporary reconstructions is featured throughout, along with expert commentary and analysis. Viewable/printable educational resources are available online. A part of the series Understanding Psychology. (38 minutes).  Streaming video

Conflict. 2002.  1 streaming video file (60 min.). Five guards, nine prisoners...until one changes sides. In this study in elemental power politics, the prisoners work to undermine the guards' authority; the most powerful prisoner is sentenced to solitary confinement, but refuses to go; and the guards squelch an attempt to break out. Contains harsh, inflammatory, and explicit language. A BBCW Production. (60 minutes).  Streaming video

Crime and insanity: Crime and punishments . 200-84.  The Constitution, that delicate balance: Constitution, that delicate balance.  1 videodisc (116 min.). Segment 6 Crime and punishments examines questions about sentencing, what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, the purpose of prison, and the debate over the death penalty. U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Arthur Alarcon, Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Norman Carson; government leaders, civil libertarians and journalists discuss the issues.  DVD 9443 and Streaming video

Crimes and punishments: A history. 1993.  1 streaming video file (30 min.). This controversial documentary traces the often brutal history of criminal punishment from the medieval era through today. Early lithographs show in shocking detail the excessive punishments applied in pre-modern times for minor crimes. We see how more humane attitudes toward punishment led to the construction of prisons. Featured in this program is the CCI penitentiary in South Carolina. There, prison officials discuss the difficulties involved in running a large penal institution. Prisoners and corrections officers provide insights into daily life at the prison and talk about the overall failure of current rehabilitation efforts. This is an excellent portrait of criminal punishment as it was, and where it stands today. (30 minutes).  Streaming video

Cruel & unusual. 2006.  1 videodisc (ca. 60 min.). A documentary about transgender women convicted and incarcerated in men's prisons in the United States. Five transgender women describe their experiences, including rape, violence, solitary confinement, and denial of medical care.  DVD 3969

Dead man walking. 1996.  1 videodisc (122 min.). Based on a true story. Matthew Poncelet (Penn) is the convicted killer of two teenage lovers, waiting to end his sentence and his life - on Death Row. In response to a letter, Sister Helen Prejean (Sarandon) visits Matthew and finds herself face-to-face with a convicted killer who continues to plead his innocence. When the date is set for his execution, Poncelet asks Sister Helen to be his spiritual advisor and she agrees.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 30

Deadline. 2004.  1 videodisc (80 min.). In his final days in office, Governor George Ryan, was left to decide whether 167 death row inmates should live or die. Deadline details the gripping drama of the state's clemency hearings highlighting one man's historic actions against the system.  DVD 961

Death by fire. 2010.  1 videodisc (60 min.). Did Texas execute an innocent man? Several controversial death penalty cases are currently under examination in Texas and in other states, but it's the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, convicted for the arson deaths of his three young children, that's now at the center of the national debate. Examines the Willingham conviction in light of new science that raises doubts about whether the fire at the center of the case was really arson at all.  DVD 8118 and Streaming video

Death row kids. 2005.  1 streaming video file (27 min.). They think we're beasts.So says a condemned murderer, succinctly expressing the view of many Americans. But this killer committed his crime when he was 17, and asks for compassion on those grounds. Filmed prior to the March 1, 2005, U.S. Supreme Court ruling barring execution for underage offenses, Death Row Kids tells the stories of confused and frightened young people awaiting the ultimate penalty. The program also alludes to medical findings that a 17-year-old's brain lacks fully developed decision-making capabilities. The result is a provocative inquiry into complex issues of personal responsibility and the likelihood of criminal rehabilitation. (27 minutes).  Streaming video

Death row. 1979.  Ethnographic video online.  1 online resource (59 min.). Streaming video;764610

Death sentence: The story of capital punishment. 2010.  1 streaming video file (60 min.). A few centuries ago, state-sanctioned killing was thought of mainly as a control mechanism, a deterrent to crime. Thus, a person could be hanged not just for murder but for minor offences such as petty theft. But with the emergence of the police force as a civic institution, some began to view capital punishment as the sordid appeasement of our communal thirst for vengeance, and today it is a continual source of debate. This program explores the issue through historical examples and interviews with legal scholars. Case studies focus on Derek William Bentley, hanged as an accomplice to murder at the age of 19; Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in the United Kingdom; and Gary Gilmore, the first person to be put to death following the 1976 reinstatement of capital punishment in the United States. Contains mature content. Produced by the Open University. (60 minutes).  Streaming video

Doing time Life inside the big house. 2006.  1 videodisc (59 min.). Scenes inside Lewisburg Prison, interviews of prison officials, guards, and inmates, and background information illustrate the reality and frequent violence of prison life. Includes some U.S. Justice Dept. file tape.  DVD 5861

Dr. Guillotin and his execution machine. 2002.  History's mysteries: History's mysteries (Arts and Entertainment Network).  1 videodisc (50 min.). "Tells the whole story of the deadly invention that claimed the lives of King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and thousands of other aristocrats, as well as influential revolutionary leaders like Robespierre who fell out of favor. Discover how some were convinced that the severed heads of its victims remained alive after the blade fell, and learn the truth about other guillotine misconceptions that have survived to this day. Hear from scholars and experts who try to explain the significance and legacy of the guillotine, and learn the surprising truth about when it was finally retired" DVD 7788

Execution of Czolgosz, with panorama of Auburn Prison.  William McKinley: American history in video.  1 online resource (3 min.). The film begins by showing railroad cars in the foreground with the overshadowing walls of a state prison in the background. The second camera position, from a higher elevation, pans slowly showing the yard interior of the prison and some of the large buildings. There is a dissolve from the exterior to the interior, a set of a stone wall with an iron barred door. Uniformed men are visible; they open the door and remove a man in civilian clothes. The camera then dissolves to another set in which there is a chair with wires attached. The man in civilian clothes is brought in and strapped to the chair. At the end of the film, two of the six witnesses examine him with stethoscopes. From a contemporary Edison film company catalog: ELECTROCUTION OF CZOLGOSZ. . A detailed reproduction of the execution of the assassin of President McKinley faithfully carried out from the description of an eye witness. The picture is in three scenes. First: Panoramic view of Auburn Prison taken the morning of the electrocution. The picture then dissolves into the corridor of murderer's row. The keepers are seen taking Czolgosz from his cell to the death chamber, and shows State Electrician, Wardens and Doctors making final test of the chair. Czolgosz is then brought in by the guard and is quickly strapped into the chair. The current is turned on at a signal from the Warden, and the assassin heaves heavily as though the straps would break. He drops prone after the current is turned off. The doctors examine the body and report to the Warden that he is dead, and he in turn officially announces the death to the witness. Streaming video;782559

Execution tech. 2004.  Wild West tech: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (45 min.). Host Keith Carradine describes the methods of executing criminals on the frontier. Discusses the 6 man gallows built at the Fort Smith courthouse, the proper way to tie a hangman's knot and the "drop distance table" for effective hanging. The "twitchup" gallows, the infamous El Paso "double header" with two men hung on one rope, the Julian gallows which worked without a hangman, as well as firing squads and the automatic "execution machine" are covered. Also described is the first electrocution by electric chair.  Streaming video;457747

Exploring alternatives to prison and probation. 92.  Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (21 min.). When judges pass sentence on convicted criminals, they generally have only two available options: put the offender into prison or put him back on the street with a term of probation. And while, in some cases, these options are sufficient, problems like prison overcrowding, "revolving door" justice, and the high incidence of repeat offenses have caused many people to feel that prison and probation just aren t sufficient tools to do the job. The question is: what would be? This film attempts to answer that question by looking at a range of innovative solutions being tried around the country. We visit five alternative sentencing programs including one in which offenders must perform community service, one which has criminals paying restitution to their victims, and a house arrest program where offenders are monitored by electronic surveillance. We see the risks and costs that each would involve and some of the arguments for and against them.  Streaming video;1630785

Fourteen Days in May: The capital punishment debate. 1987.  1 streaming video file (88 min.). In May 1987, Edward Johnson, a young African-American found guilty of murder and attempted rape, was executed at Parchman Penitentiary in Mississippi. This program, set in the days immediately preceding and following Johnson's death in the gas chamber, focuses on the legal mechanism for execution and the intense ethical debate surrounding it. Johnson is interviewed at length. Questions arising from that interview explore such issues as whether the death penalty is ever justified, whether it is disproportionately used against minorities, and whether legal avenues of appeal are sufficient, or overly-weighted in favor of criminals. A BBC Production. (88 minutes).  Streaming video

Framing an execution: ABC News & the case of Mumia Abu Jamal. 2010.  Streaming video (50 min. : sd., col.). In the 1990s, Mumia Abu-Jamal, an African American journalist on death row, became a symbol of the inequities in the United States judicial system. This film examines how ABC reporter Sam Donaldson's framing of Abu-Jamal's case stands up to the available facts and how it measures up to basic journalistic standards of fairness, balance, and accuracy.  Streaming video

From prison to home.  2007.  1 streaming video file (71 min.). Ex-convicts face formidable odds, and for African-Americans, conditions are usually even more difficult. This documentary traces the experiences of four black ex-inmates over the course of a year, focusing on their challenges with employment, housing, addiction, and reconnecting with family-as well as their participation in the nontraditional African American Program for parolees. Richard, a 36-year-old crack addict, has spent 12 years in and out of the system. Arthur, 45, has been arrested 13 times. Calvin, 49, has served 18 months for drug possession and burglary. And 37-year-old Randy, emerging for the first time after a 16-year murder sentence, is intent on going to college. The parole officers who work with these men are also interviewed. (71 minutes).  Streaming video

From the inside: Personal challenges for teens reentering society. 2008.  1 streaming video file (21 min.). For many inmates at juvenile correctional facilities, looking ahead to freedom brings anxiety and doubt. This program illustrates the challenges that often await young offenders following incarceration and shows teen inmates preparing to face the corporate world, their families, and themselves. Overcoming illiteracy, building marketable work skills, and becoming familiar with employment counseling and job search techniques are some of the subjects explored. The emotional side of leaving prison-including homecomings with elated parents and siblings and the counseling that often accompanies those reunions-is also illustrated in depth. A Cambridge Educational Production. Correlates to all applicable National and State Educational Standards including the NCLB Act. (21 minutes) Follows educational and program recommendations provided by the National Center on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice.  Streaming video

Full frame documentary shorts. 2005.  1 videodisc (96 min.). This series of short films includes "Texas hospitality" which examines the final meal requests from a number of exucuted prisoners from the state of Texas. DVD 5123

Gary Gilmore a fight to die. 1998.  American history in video.  1 electronic resource (ca. 44 min.). Presents the life of Gary Gilmore, the first convicted murderer to be executed in the United States in ten years. Gilmore resisted all efforts to stop his 1977 execution and demanded death by firing squad.  Streaming video;565196

Ghosts of Abu Ghraib. 2007.  1 videodisc (78 min.). Interviews with perpetrators, witnesses, and victims examining the abuses that occurred in the fall of 2003 at the notorious Iraqi prison. Probes the psychology of how typical American men and women came to commit these atrocious acts.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 796*

Gideon's trumpet. 2007.  Hallmark hall of fame.  1 videodisc (103 min.). Clarence Earl Gideon, a semi-literate drifter, is arrested for breaking into a pool room and for petty theft. When he asks the court to appoint a lawyer for his defense because he cannot afford one, his request is denied. Acting as his own lawyer, Gideon is convicted and sent to jail. While in prison, he begins a hand-written campaign directed to the U.S. Supreme Court, contending that every defendant is entitled to legal representation. The Court agrees to hear Gideon's case, and, in a landmark decision, rules in his favor.  Feature film with Henry Fonda as Gideon HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 6002

Gitmo: New rules of war. 2007.  1 videodisc (76 min.). Film attempts to document what really goes on at America's detention center in the war on terror - Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 4452

Glen Mills gang: Arrested without locks and bars. 2000.  1 streaming video file (50 min.). Filmed over the course of a year, this documentary goes inside Glen Mills Schools in Pennsylvania, a boarding schoolalternative to prison for about 1,000 young members of street gangs convicted of crimes. Sam Ferrainola, the school's director, has pioneered a system of rewards and privileges where the young men keep themselves under strict surveillance, reporting infractions of the rules to upperclassmen, or Big Brothers.Ferrainola stresses that Glen Mills is not a boot camp but an educational institution in which the goal is to bring about fundamental changes in behavior without incarceration. The system seems to work: of all institutions for juvenile offenders, Glen Mills' 32 percent recidivism rate is the lowest in the country. (50 minutes).  Streaming video

Hard time: Teens in maximum security prisons. 1999.  1 streaming video file (24 min.). Every Wednesday another busload of new inmates arrives at the Western Youth Institution in Morganton, North Carolina, a maximum security prison for juvenile offenders. What trade-offs do the convicts have to make, just to stay alive in this hostile environment? And what will they be like if they eventually make it back into society? In this program, ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer reports on prison life through the experiences of four new teenage inmates-one only 13 years old. A follow-up two years later reveals the impact of their incarceration on their minds and bodies, best summed up by the words of one of the four: This is not the place to be.(24 minutes).  Streaming video

How do you spell murder? Illiteracy and crime. 2004.  1 videodisc (40 min.). Filmed on location at New Jersey State Prison, a literacy program called L.I.F.E. is spotlighted. Outlines the relationship between illiteracy and crime.  DVD 4588

How to kill a human being: Methods of execution. 2008.  1 streaming video file (50 min.). Is a humane and painless execution method possible, and if so, would death penalty proponents support its use? Or is pain the whole idea? Examining what many see as the cruelty of current procedures, this program searches for a viable alternative. Experts in the death business-retired executioners, toxicologists, biomechanics specialists, and others-explain disturbing flaws in the use of electrocution, hanging, lethal injection, and the gas chamber. Whether or not physicians should take part in executions is also discussed. The film presents a low-cost killing method that would induce euphoria-but this horrifies a prominent death penalty lobbyist because offenders wouldn't suffer. A BBC Production. (50 minutes).  Streaming video

In the shadow of faith: Redemption behind bars. 2006.  1 streaming video file (57 min.). Angola Penitentiary has its own radio station, its own magazine, and-most notably-its own highly organized evangelical ministry. It is also a working farm, tended in large part by compliant, nonviolent inmates. What forces are at work in the once-notorious Louisiana institution? Have its residents embraced religion sincerely, or is Angola a focal point of sophisticated brainwashing? This program invites viewers to consider those questions. Examining daily life at the complex, it reveals an existence that, while varying from inmate to inmate, finds meaning in work, worship, and little else. Insights into prison realities and their spiritual remedies come from lifers, guards, and warden Burl Cain, the charismatic instigator of Angola's transformation. (57 minutes).  Streaming video

Infamous. 2007.  1 videodisc (118 min.). While researching his book "In cold blood", writer Truman Capote develops a relationship with convicted murderers Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, while both men waited for their date of execution on death row.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 7548

Inside Folsom. 2002.  1 streaming video file (44 min.). You like horror movies?responds a Folsom State Prison inmate when asked to describe life in the penitentiary. This is a horror movie.Virtually every inmate who appears in this MSNBC documentary-and perhaps a few of Folsom's guards-seems to share his opinion. Viewers are guided through the prison's antiquated infrastructure, from the general population areas to the dungeon-like Cell Block 5, where the sun literally never shines. Conversations with lifers, corrections officers, and warden Diana Butler shed light on Folsom's violent culture and the procedures and programs developed to improve it. Despite rigid organization and work opportunities, the inmates interviewed tend to use the word programonly in reference to unsupervised self-rehabilitation. Not available in French-speaking Canada. (43 minutes).  Streaming video

Inside North Carolina Women's Prison. 2006.  1 streaming video file (42 min.). Proving that female prisoners struggle with the same conditions male convicts face, this MSNBC documentary goes inside a North Carolina facility filled with 1,100 troubled mothers, sisters, aunts, and even grandmothers. Warden Annie Harvey conveys the goals and frustrations of her job, while male officers acknowledge an ongoing challenge to maintain professionalism and objectivity. Although sexual relationships among inmates are discouraged, several openly gay prisoners share what life is like for their small community and their disdain for opportunistic guards. Rampant drug addiction and substance abuse are also addressed, along with the daily drudgery of-and poignant attempts to brighten-life inside an eight-by-eight-foot cell. Not available in French-speaking Canada. (42 minutes).  Streaming video

Inside Wabash. 2005.  1 streaming video file (46 min.). Situated in America's heartland among acres of Indiana cornfields, Wabash Valley Correctional Facility houses not just the state's most violent offenders but also a large population of the mentally ill. This MSNBC documentary looks at the challenges of confining thousands of hardened criminals in addition to those with deep-seated psychiatric needs. Wabash psychiatrist Dr. Mary Ruth Sims describes her work with a group of self-mutilating prisoners, while superintendent Craig Hanks and his staff outline their day-to-day challenges and the operation of the prison's SHU or secure housing unit. Viewer discretion advised: additional interviews feature severely deranged inmates who give accounts of their horrific crimes. Not available in French-speaking Canada. (46 minutes).  Streaming video

Islam behind bars. 2007.  Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (47 min.). No religion is growing faster in Western prisons than Islam. In the United States alone, there are more than 200,000 Muslim inmates. They are mainly black converts searching for an alternative to Christianity, which many reject as the slave-master's faith. Islam Behind Bars takes an unflinching look at the disruptive power of poisonous religious demagoguery, but also leaves the viewer with a better understanding of an intriguing new fact of the black experience in the West. The prisoners follow a path first made famous by Malcolm X, who went to jail for pimping and petty theft and came out a fiery Muslim preacher. He had discovered a strict religion which could bring discipline and dignity to men whose lives had been devastated by violence and drugs. In the aftermath of September 11th, authorities fear that terrorist organizations may recruit Muslim prison converts to attack the West. Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber" was probably recruited while in a British prison. The film shows that there are some imprisoned Muslims who find peace and a respect for all of God's creations in their new faith, and others who direct their anger at the West.  Streaming video;1641318

Justice Japan style.  2006.  Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (25 min.). Almost every person charged with committing a serious crime in Japan is convicted and goes to jail. Jury trials simply do not exist and convictions are based on confessions. Some believe that Japanese criminal court cases are simply ceremonies to impose punishment rather than determine guilt. The filmmaker obtained rare access to Japan's jails, where a cruel, secret system allows the abuse, torture and death of inmates. Prisons have spartan conditions and extremely strict rules; prisoners can be kept in solitary confinement for decades, others live eight to a room. In the last ten years there have been close to 250 suspicious deaths in custody. The film recounts the tragic ordeal of Sakae Menda who spent thirty-four years on death row after he confessed to a crime he did not commit, a confession obtained following six days of sleep deprivation and beatings. His testimony is powerful evidence of the flaws in Japan's justice system where reform is unlikely and Western notions of human rights are relatively new.  Streaming video;1646865

Juvenile correction facilities. 2005.  1 streaming video file (39 min.). No one yearns to experience the inside of a prison-but to understand the American criminal justice system and those who enter it at an early age, spending a couple of nights behind bars yields powerful results. This ABC News program is the product of unprecedented access to Arizona's juvenile correction facilities, documenting six months in the lives of inmates between 12 and 17 years old. Although the settings can be violent, the young interviewees display remarkable honesty, resilience, and hope for the future, reminding viewers that even in juvie,opportunities for learning and self-discovery are still available. (39 minutes).  Streaming video

Juvenile justice-A Fred friendly seminar . 2004.  1 streaming video file (58 min.). How does America's juvenile justice system work? In what ways has it failed? And what would it take to improve it so that it routinely operates in the best interests of offenders, their victims, and society as a whole? These are not simple questions, as this Fred Friendly Seminar points out-and they become all the more complex when moderator Charles Ogletree, of Harvard Law School, casts 13 experts as figures in a hypothetical scenario involving two families, four teens, and a sequence of violent crimes culminating in a murder. By incrementally raising the stakes, Ogletree moderates a passionate discussion that addresses different conceptions of justice, the balance between rehabilitation of a minor and the safety of the public, the need to strengthen the home environment, availability of social services, and matters of race and socioeconomic status. Panelists include Cregor Datig, chief deputy district attorney for Riverside County, California; Patricia Lee, deputy public defender for San Francisco County; Lisa Hill, of the Alameda County Probation Department; Indiana Superior Court Judge James W. Payne; Congressman Dan Lundgren (R-CA), former attorney general of California; Taalia Hasan, of the West Contra Costa County Youth Services Bureau; Walter Allen III, director of the California Youth Authority; Lateefah Simon, of The Center for Young Women's Development, in San Francisco; Luis Aroche, outreach director of Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco; Laurence Steinberg, from the Department of Psychology at Temple University; Amy Holmes Hehn, senior deputy district attorney for Multnomah County, Oregon; Eddie Ayala, of the Oakland Police Department; and Robert Long, news director for KNBC-TV, Los Angeles. Produced in association with The Institute for Child and Family Policy at Columbia University. (58 minutes).  Streaming video

Juvenile sex offenders: Voices unheard. 1997.  1 streaming video file (58 min.). An average pedophile will molest 363 children in his or her lifetime. This program goes to a lock-down and into the community to develop a profile of juvenile sex offenders and to study the pioneering work of organizations attempting to reintegrate offenders into society. Interviews with experts reveal the causes behind the actions of young sex offenders, including sex abuse in their own young lives. At the Family Service Society in Marion, Indiana, offenders, some voluntarily and others under court order, engage in unique therapy sessions. There intervention, designed to prevent them from carrying their activities into their adult lives, helps them understand and correct their habitual behavior. (58 minutes).  Streaming video

Juvies. 2004.  1 videodisc (66 min.).  "In the last decade, the number of kids doing time in adult prisons has tripled, even though the juvenile justice system was originally established to keep them out of the adult system. From the award-winning documentary filmmaker Leslie Neale comes 'Juvies' - a stark insight into the personal stories of twelve kids being prosecuted and incarcerated as adults." --from container.  DVD 917