With more than two million Americans behind bars on any given day, the United States has become the ward of the largest inmate population in the world. In 2014 over 600,000 inmates will be released from prison — with a high probability of recidivism rate without serious changes in the way they live their life. Prison doesn’t exactly build up self-esteem or teach valuable life skills, either. So how can we help former prisoners re-adjust to society and help build self-esteem? How can we help prisoners change their lives?
Ice-T and Doin’ Time Entertainment has a solution that’s coming to film. Enter “Inmates With Talent,” a reality/comedy movie project featuring Ice-T whose focus centers on a talent contest and “zany comedic moments in prison.” Doin’ Time Entertainment plans to use its movie as a springboard to do good work in the community to help felons stay on the right path in life. Next month the company will kick off a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of completing “Inmates With Talent,” currently in post-production. The film focuses on helping felons live successful and fulfilling crime-free lives once they are released from prison and return to our neighborhoods.
According to the press release:
“Doin’ Time Entertainment is using a creative approach to the recidivism problem. Its unconventional therapy gets inmates to open up about past sins, own up to wrongdoings and build confidence in their approach to individual goals and life as a whole. Its basis is that if you help felons break the patterns of the past, develop self-confidence, self-esteem and interpersonal skills, offering them a creative outlet to express what they may have been keeping bottled up inside, you’ve given them a tremendous leg up to succeed once released. This comedy/entertainment therapy can be used as an adjunct to the many drug or alcohol treatment, education or vocational training programs used in prison systems today. “
In “Inmates With Talent”, comedians (and co-creators) Johnny Collins and Joel Jerome are given free reign to walk the halls of Indiana’s Putnamville Correctional Facility, spending much of their time injecting humor and comedy into everyday prison life, and otherwise “goofing off.” The film chronicles the pair as they work to organize a contest that not only showcases many of the inmates’ hidden talents but also unites the entire prison population. (The creators describe it as “The Voice” meets “Last Comic Standing” in the environment of “Orange is the New Black.” ) In the process, they are able to help give perspective that helps turn the prisoners’ lives around.
You can learn more about the film project at the Inmates With Talent website. Check out the trailer below: