Earlier this week, writer and director Matthew Cooke launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise $100,000 so that he and his film crew may finish the documentary Survivor’s Guide to Prison.
While sharing details about the project, Cooke revealed:
“We have the largest prison population not because Americans are the world’s most evil criminal people. It’s because we have extreme drug laws and sentence lengths, the longest lockups BEFORE trial, and an enormous number of illegal things you can do to get you in jail.
“A prominent lawyer in the Wall Street Journal says the average American commits 3 felonies a day without even knowing it. Not only that, the Innocence Project estimates there could EASILY be anywhere from 40,000 to over 100,000 people in U.S. prisons who never broke a law at all.
“Survivor’s Guide to Prison exposes the HORROR – from the time you get arrest, to the time you are tried, to your incarceration, to (if applicable) the MOMENT you are released. We tell you what to do to survive… no guarantees.
“And then for the 3rd act.. what we can do to survive prison as a country because it doesn’t work. 77% of Americans going into state prisons return within 5 years (those are Dept of Justice stats). And the solutions are known! Just not widely known…”
The film includes interviews with Deepok Chopra, Russell Simmons, Harry Belafonte, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Brandon Boyd of Incubus. On Cooke’s team is actress and executive procedure of the film Susan Sarandon. During a recent interview with Variety, she stated:
“Radically reforming the way we see and practice criminal justice may be one of the highest moral mandates of our time. Americans are horrified at story after story of civilians killed or arrested by a criminal system that is so unjust. And so we stand together in a truly defining moment. What will we do with the opportunity and momentum?”
Funds from the campaign will go towards editing, sound mixing, graphics, soundtrack, final shots, reshoots and distribution. Those who back the project will receive rewards such as t-shirts signed by the filmmakers, two tickets to the premiere and an executive producer credit.
Since its launch, the project has raised over $33,000. It is set to close mid-September.
Have a crowdfunding offering you'd like to share? Submit an offering for consideration using our Submit a Tip form and we may share it on our site!