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  COMBO 1:  set of all 4 documentaries (on 3 DVDs) plus book  (BEST VALUE!) 
Amazon = $215.75)
STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN (the movie 2017)  
Twenty lifers met with 12 college students on a maximum-security prison yard, ostensibly, to learn to write. But the lessons were deeper, as inmates learned to communicate openly and honestly about deeply-felt emotions and insecurities, and students learned that these men were not the monsters depicted in popular media accounts of prison. Both groups found hope and humanity in a place where they had expected neitherThe experience produced both an award-winning documentary and book showing that no one is beyond redemption.
• "Making a Difference" award (Socially Relevant Film Festival, New York)
• "Most Inspirational Film" award (Silicon Beach Film Festival, Los Angeles)
• "Best US Feature Documentary" (Laughlin International Film Festival)

 Straight from the Pen (DVD only)
on Amazon = $49.95)


The unique writing program at RJD prison near San Diego continued for nearly five years. This collection of essays and art from the men in those classes demonstrate not only the talent and potential of many of society's outcasts, they document much in these men's lives that contributed to their criminality, their struggles, and, eventually, their redemption.

writers' evaluations of the class: 
"Learning to explore the deepest regions of my mind, heart, and soul has given me a new-found freedom. I have a voice in the silent movement of a thundering BIC ballpoint pen. “We are all writers,” echoes in my mind, recalling what we were told the first week of what turned into a life–changing experience. I uncovered more than the writer in me. I found the husband, the father, the thirty-three-year-old boy, the attentive listener who learned to respect a reader’s time, and, perhaps most importantly, a grateful human being."

"Writing brought peace to my life, enabling my crippled conscience to release waves of thorns and daggers wedged deep in my heart. Whirlwinds of pain and joy flowed through a fine-tipped point onto a blue-lined canvas. I was stripped naked, vulnerable, and scared, but empowered to share my deepest emotions. With the help of college professors, students, and inmates, a writer was born and through this experience, pride, joy, and--most of all--healing."

 Straight from the Pen: Writing Wrongs (BOOK only)
    (on Amazon = $15.95)
  COMBO 2:  both DVD and BOOK  
(on Amazon = $65.90)                    

  Straight from the Pen. Get dvd AND book for limited time only!

  • Twenty-four criminal justice majors from San Diego State University dove headlong into the California prison system in a eye-opening and mind-changing experience that covered eight prisons over the course of five days and 1200 miles. Students saw first-hand what life--and survival--was like in the "belly of the beast." 
    A skeletal crew followed students as t
    hey spoke intimately with both guards and inmates about the often brutal realities of incarceration in the largest and most expensive prison system in the world. Students, themselves, were also interviewed before, during, and after their weeklong adventure. Most changed in ways they had never imagined. (57 min.)

  • • 
    official selection/awards from film festivals around the world, including the world-class Cannes Independent Film Festival

 Prison Through Tomorrow's Eyes (DVD)
    (on Amazon = $49.95)

DOING TIME (1971)   
(with David Ellis and Lon Holmberg)
  • The first real documentary about life inside the penitentiary, Doing Time was shot inside the New Mexico State Penitentiary--the scene, 10 years later of the bloodiest prison riot in American history. The camera follows inmates as they tell their stories, uncensored, to a sociologist and an English professor seeking to capture the real story of life behind bars--straight from the source, the inmates themselves. (56 min.)

  • • three Emmy Awards and 
    official selection/awards from film festivals around the world
  • official selections and awards from film f
    estivals around the world

 Doing Time (DVD)
    (on Amazon = $49.95)
 Doing Time: Ten Years Later (DVD)
on Amazon = $49.95)
  COMBO 3:  2 movies (one dvd) (GREAT VALUE!)
    (on Amazon = $99.90)

DOING TIME: TEN YEARS LATER (1980)  play trailer
(with David Ellis)
  • Ten years after the making of Doing Time, the Penitentiary of New Mexico exploded in the bloodiest riot this country has ever seen. We returned to the prison to recount the events that led up to the riot. Few could have predicted what would happen to those men; even fewer could imagine the horrors that befell them and that ill-fated institution. (58 min.)

  • • 
    two Emmy Awards 
  • • 
    official selections and awards from film f
    estivals around the world

 Doing Time: Ten Years Later (the MOVIE--DVD)
    (on Amazon = $49.95)

BROKEN MOLD: the Legend of Alfredo Santos  
(with Lori B. Sutton; in production)
  • In the 1950's,
    Alfredo Santos,
     little-known convict and lesser-known artist, won a contest to paint the massive dining room walls of San Quentin State Prison. Both Santos and his world-famous art have stood the test of time. The muraled-walls remain a testament to the imagination and creativity of inmates, while after his release, Santos developed an international reputation as an artist with tremendous breadth and talent, but squandered or lost the riches that should have been his. Content that his work would survive him, Santos lived out his days, painting occasionally, in a tiny studio apartment in San Diego.

BADASS  play trailer 
(with Lori B. Sutton; in production)
  • A retired Sergeant from 30-year stint working behind the walls of San Quentin State Prison recounts his life and times working with inmates and staff at one of the toughest prison beats in the world. In a compelling dialog that is both light-hearted and gravely serious, he  paints a world that would strike terror in most, but a world in which he thrived, and a world which--when the time came--he hated to leave. 

POOCH  play trailer  
(with Lori B. Sutton; in production)
  • P.O.O.C.H. is the acronym for Prisoners Overcoming Obstacles and Creating Hope, a program at Richard J Donovan Prison in San Diego. There, inmates devote months training rescue dogs to act as service animals for disabled veterans and autistic children. The program is truly a live-saver--for the inmates, the animals, and the incredible people they serve. This documentary chronicles one outstanding prison program that improves the lives of everyone involved. 

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