The Bromont Project Filmmaking Program Helps Former Inmates Pursue Careers in Entertainment

KTLA– As the nation has embraced many conversations about prison reform, Mylrell Miner, a formerly incarcerated individual, is working towards changing the narrative of the systems-impacted community with his Los Angeles-based organization called the Bromont Program.

“Every community is represented through media but not every community has a voice in that representation,” says Miner.

As a young person, Mylrell has cycled in-and-out of juvenile hall since the age of 11, culminating with an eight-year prison sentence served in his 20s. It was during his incarceration that he discovered a passion for writing, realizing just how healing and life-changing it could be. Continue reading →

The Woman Who Inspired “Orange Is The New Black” Talks Prison

 

Piper Kerman’s number one goal is to reduce the number of people in prison.


She spent 13 months at a correctional centre in Danbury, Connecticut from February 2004. As a white, middle-class prisoner, Kerman quickly became aware of the ways the prison system fails Americans – but particularly poor Americans, and people of colour. Since her stint behind bars, she’s become a vocal advocate for prisoners rights.

She’s been on the board of the Women’s Prison Association for six years and teaches non-fiction writing in two prisons in Ohio. And in a move that brought her story to prominence, she also wrote a memoir that served as the inspiration for hugely popular Netflix show Orange Is The New Black.

  

Check out BuzzFeed News for an informative sit down with Piper Kerman and see what she wants people to know about prison.

President Obama Bans Solitary Confinement For Juveniles & Low Level Offenders 

  

WASHINGTON — President Obama is moving to ban solitary confinement for juveniles and low-level offenders in federal prisons, a change long sought by advocates of prison reform who argue the punishment exacts a devastating and permanent mental toll.Obama was influenced by a U.S. 

Department of Justice review that determined the practice reduces the chances that prisoners can be acclimated back into society, he said in a Washington Post op-ed piece.

Obama stated that solitary confinement has been “increasingly overused … with heartbreaking results,” and subsequently ordering federal penitentiaries to cease using the punishment on juvenile offenders in the federal prisons and on prisoners who committed non-serious offenses.

He went on to say that it may be necessary in case of violent or misbehaving prisoners, but otherswise “be limited, applied with constraints and used only as a measure of last resort.”

The White House said Obama was also adopting Justice Department recommendations that would limit solitary confinement for prisoners with mental illness and avoid using the practice as a tool to segregate prisoners who face threats from fellow inmates. He wrote in the Post that the move would affect 10,000 federal prisoners.

“The United States is a nation of second chances, but the experience of solitary confinement too often undercuts that second chance,” 

Obama wrote in the Post op-ed. 

“Those who do make it out often have trouble holding down jobs, reuniting with family and becoming productive members of society. Imagine having served your time and then being unable to hand change over to a customer or look your wife in the eye or hug your children. 
How can we subject prisoners to unnecessary solitary confinement, knowing its effects, and then expect them to return to our communities as whole people? It doesn’t make us safer. It’s an affront to our common humanity.” 

In his final year in office, Obama has said that he’d redouble his efforts on criminal justice reform, including improving conditions in federal prisons and encouraging states to adopt new rules that hew more closely to updated research on corrections facilities. In July he became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, and he has spoken candidly about issues like prison rape and criminal re-entry programs.

The goal, officials have said, is to improve the chances that incarcerated Americans become functioning members of society after serving their sentences.

Two LA Men Imprisoned Decades After Wrongful Murder Convictions To Recieve $24 Million 

GOOD BLACK NEWS

The Los Angeles City Council agreed Tuesday to pay more than $24 million to settle lawsuits from two men who alleged that investigations by dishonest Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives led to their wrongful murder convictions and caused them to spend decades behind bars.

Kash Delano Register, who won his freedom in 2013 after lawyers and students from Loyola Law School cast doubt on the testimony of a key prosecution witness, will receive $16.7 million — the largest settlement in an individual civil rights case in the city’s history, his attorneys said. Bruce Lisker, who was released from prison in 2009 after a Times investigation into his conviction, will get $7.6 million.

Though the cases were unrelated, both men contended that detectives ignored evidence of their…

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Georgia Lawmaker Wants To Reduce Marijuana Possesion To A Misdemeanor 

  
ATLANTA – A state lawmaker hopes to change marijuana possession from a felony to a misdemeanor in Georgia.

Senator Harold Jones, II, D – Augusta, held a news conference to announce the filing of Senate Bill 254. The bill would change possession to a misdemeanor under state law.

“It’s not just criminal justice reform, it’s human rights reform. And if the prosecutor has looked at all the facts and said this person isn’t selling this. I know it’s a lot, but this person isn’t selling it, it’s for personal use. Why then should that person then lose, potentially, so much?”

The former prosecutor said the consequences of a felony conviction can ruin someone’s life, making him or her ineligible to receive some college scholarships, serve on a jury or vote.

Jones stressed that his bill would not legalize nor decriminalize marijuana and people caught selling the drug would still be charged with a felony.

SB 254 does not limit the amount of marijuana someone can possess, as long as it is for his or her own use.

While many people support the bill, Jones said he has not heard from Governor Nathan Deal on the proposition.

Originally posted on FOX5 News