Raised in the System is an insightful look at juvenile mass incarceration in the United States, hosted by actor and activist Michael K. Williams, who played Omar on “The Wire.” Williams grew up in the Vanderveer projects, in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and has been visiting incarcerated loved ones since age seventeen.
The documentary guides us through the legacy of the nineties—the draconian crime policies, the talk of juvenile super-predators—with damning clips of rhetoric made by politicians ranging from Newt Gingrich to the Clintons; the policies of that era led to harsh sentencing and grim institutions that often fail to rehabilitate offenders or to reduce crime. We also see progressive, and truly encouraging, contemporary programs that aim to keep kids out of prison, and we learn about adolescent brain development and its role in behavior and decision-making.
-Preceded by a brief presentation by Jean Casella, an organizer of the Photo Requests from Solitary exhibition, and Johnny Perez, survivor of solitary confinement and Director of the U.S. Prisons Program at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.
-Followed by a discussion with actor Michael K. Williams, NYPD Assistant Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, community coordinator and mentor Dominic Dupont, juvenile justice activist Dana Rachlin, founder of NYC Together, moderated by Tom Robbins of The Marshall Project.
-Please also join us post-discussion for the Photo Requests from Solitary exhibition opening reception in the Dweck Lobby at 9pm. Registration is required for the event, not the reception that follows.