Eastern State Penitentiary Exhibition: Opening May 6, 2016

The first major museum exhibit to tackle this subject, Prisons Today challenges visitors to reexamine their ideas about the role and effectiveness of prisons in America.  Three years in the making, this exhibit uses innovative filmmaking to elicit personal connections to the U.S. criminal justice system, and digital interactives to encourage personal reflection and dialogue.  A "call to action" section suggests steps that visitors can take to help shape the American criminal justice system moving forward.

We continue meeting many incredible individuals who are willing to share their stories. This exhibit at Eastern State Penitentiary highlights a few of their experiences and we hope to expand awareness to the issue of mass incarceration and the effect it has on our society.

These are their lives:

DAWAN - is a father who was released from prison and is focusing on reconnecting with his children. KIYA - is growing up without her father, a man serving a long prison sentence. Her mother is unable to provide for her so she has been in the foster care system for most of her life. PHILL - is serving life without the possibility of parole. He runs a restorative justice program called, "Let's Circle Up" inside his maximum security prison. ADAN - had run-ins with the police, dropped out of school and lived on the streets, but now he has earned his GED, enrolled in college, and speaks of his hopes for the future. JESSE - an artist and outspoken critic of mass incarceration, made art while in prison and continues the dialogue even after he is released. PENNSYLVANIA SECRETARY OF CORRECTIONS JOHN WETZEL - speaks passionately about the men and women under his care and about their prospects upon release.