Commentary

03.09.15

The Making of “Prisons For Profit”: One Last Call

By

Prisons For Profit

Paul Reynolds was ready to give up.

Reynolds was working as a corrections officer at the Lake Erie Correctional Institute when the state of Ohio sold the facility to Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).  It was the first (and only) time a state prison was sold to a private company. In the three short months after CCA took over, he watched conditions at the prison fall apart at the seams as drugs and violence spread like wildfire through the facility.

As the security situation continued to deteriorate, Reynolds tried everything he could to fix it.  He complained internally and contacted local government to tell them what happened every day when he came to work. It seemed that no one would help him.

Watch the trailer for “Prisons for Profit.”

Finally, he decided to make one try before giving up. That’s when he called the ACLU of Ohio.

Now, his story will be seen on the big screen.

Read parts II and III in our series on Making “Prisons for Profit.”

As part of our work to stop the privatization of Ohio’s prison system, we produced the new documentary “Prisons For Profit.”  This film brings together the stories for those with loved ones, working in, and living around the Lake Erie Correctional Institute after its sale to CCA. The film shows what happens when a company’s bottom line depends on keeping prison beds full.

“Prisons For Profit” will premiere at the 39th Cleveland International Film Festival on March 26. Reynolds wants the film to be a wake-up call for those who see it.

Buy Tickets to see “Prisons for Profit” during the Ohio Shorts Program 3 at the Cleveland International Film Festival.

“I hope they will question our justice system,” Reynolds explained.  “I hope it makes people think about what the justice system is supposed to be, what’s fair, and if there are other alternatives.”

What started as a last try has become a chance to expose the harms caused by the for-profit prison system where prisoners are treated as inventory instead of human beings.

Reynolds said, “It started with me making a phone call. To see it turn into this is fantastic. If it wakes up two people, that’s a success.”

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