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JUSTICE

 

 

 

 

 

Jemie Bissonette

Mel King

Commissioner John O. Boone

Bobby Dellelo

Jess and Jerry Corneau

Mary Norris and Annjea Carmichael-Tanton

Annjea and Dad

 

 

    THREE THOUSAND YEARS

                   AND LIFE

A survey of prison life reshaped by inmate self­government. 42 minutes, 16mm color, with study guide.

A FILM BY RANDALL CONRAD AND STEPHEN UJLAKI

During one 3-month period, in the spring of 1973, the maximum security prison at Walpole, Mass. was the scene of an unprecedented seizure of power. The prisoners organized and ran the prison-the school, the shops, the kitchen, the hospital, the internal security-while the striking guards manned only the outside walls. THREE THOUSAND YEARS AND LIFE takes you inside Walpole, to see and hear the story from the prisoners themselves.

"This is the only documented account of the prison­ers' self-government movement at Walpole. It is the most important film of the prison struggle to date."

David Collins, EX-PRISONER AD-HOC COMMITTEE FOR PRISON REFORM, BOSTON.

"No one can see this film and think that Walpole prisoners are what most of the established media and state house politicians have been saying they are."

Ann Hack, CITIZENS FOR BETTER CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS, NEW HAVEN, CONN.

"A rare and stimulating work."

Archer Winsten, NEW YORK POST

"A fascinating portrait of prison life."

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"A unique film."

BOSTON HERALD AMERICAN

42 minutes 16mm Color

Rental $50 + $5 handling; Sale $400

 

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

Rehabilitation and Self-Determination

1. Who should decide what programs go on in a prison? Should prisoners have a voice? To what extent?

2. Using examples from the film, discuss and com­pare the concepts of rehabilitation and self-determination.

The Psychology of Confinement

1. The film states that an entire society is at work within the prison. In what ways are social relations on the outside reproduced in prison life? What ele­ments are missing?

Self-Government and Responsibility

1. Under "normal" conditions, is a prisoner allowed or encouraged to have much responsibility? Could self-government be instituted under "normal" con­ditions? Is there a pattern of democratic responsive­ness in the prisoners' union?

Prisons and the Public

1. Discuss the role of the neutral civilian volun-

teer observers throughout the period of self­government. Would an observer program be helpful under "normal" circumstances in any prison?

Suggested Supplementary Readings:

American Friends Service Committee, Struggle for Justice, Hill & Wang, 1971.

Fay Knopp and others, Instead of Prisons. Prison Research Education Action Project, Syracuse, NY, 1976.

Jessica Mitford, Kind and Usual Punishment. Vintage, 1973.

Fuller questions for discussion, background data and a bibliography accompany the film.