Prison isn't what it used to be.


The Website Cited in the Film:
"We believe that should be used only for those who absolutely must be incarcerated and that those who are incarcerated should have all of the resources they need to turn their lives around. We also believe that human rights documents provide a sound basis for ensuring that criminal justice systems meet these goals."
Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) is a grassroots organization that was founded in Texas in 1972. It became a national organization in 1985.

The Article Cited in the Film:
"Ninety-seven percent of 125,000 federal inmates have been convicted of non-violent crimes. It is believed that more than half of the 623,000 inmates in municipal or county jails are innocent of the crimes they are accused of. Of these, the majority are awaiting trial. Two-thirds of the one million state prisoners have committed non-violent offenses. Sixteen percent of the country’s 2 million prisoners suffer from mental illness."
Vicky Palaez (2008), "The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?"

More Information on the Prison-Industrial Complex:
"All across the country new cellblocks rise. And every one of them, every brand-new prison, becomes another lasting monument, concrete and ringed with deadly razor wire, to the fear and greed and political cowardice that now pervade American society."
Eric Schlosser (1998), "The Prison-Industrial Complex."


This project by its nature owes itself to many sources. It germinated from a class field trip to Eastern State Penitentiary into a methodological field of inquiry on the politics of the symbolic vis-a-vis the prison (as) economy (of representation/representability), and has since come down from its Barthesian textual heavens to land as an expository-performative documentary on the prison-industrial complex (i.e., what's happened after the collapse of panoptical modernity). Having gotten around, the project is finally coming into its own.

"Goodbye, Panoramaisolationopticon" produced for Professor Erica Cho's video production class, Swarthmore College, Spring '13. TRT: 5:06. Technical specs to come.
By Ben Ellentuck (Dir), Philip Harris (DP), Patrick Hackeling (DoA). Filmed at Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA.

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