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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Visual Law Project Film on Solitary Confinement Premieres Dec. 11 at Yale Law School

“The Worst of the Worst,” a Visual Law Project documentary that has been submitted for consideration to the Sundance Film Festival, will have its Yale Law School premiere on Dec. 11, 2012. The 30-minute film explores the impact of solitary confinement at Northern Correctional Institute (NCI), Connecticut’s only “supermax” prison, and examines the future of supermax prisons in Connecticut and nationwide. It will be shown at 6:00 p.m. in Room 127. A Q&A with the filmmakers will follow. The screening is free and open to the public.

The high-tech, super maximum security NCI is designed to incarcerate the so-called “worst of the worst” problem inmates. These inmates spend 23 hours per day in their cells, frequently in solitary confinement, with one hour of recreation in an enclosed outdoor pen. The “Worst of the Worst” follows the story of three individuals whose lives have been shaped by Northern: Misael, a former inmate; Pete, a Northern correctional officer; and Ros, a mother determined to support her incarcerated son.

“We were given unprecedented access to Department of Correction officials including the Commissioner and Northern’s warden,” said Jane Cooper ’13, one of the film’s producers. “The Department also allowed us inside Northern itself, which had not been opened to the press since its opening in 1995.”

In addition to the perspectives of administrators, the film includes analysis from legal scholars and other experts as it calls into question the role of supermax prisons and solitary confinement in the U.S. criminal justice system. View the trailer here

Watch VLP founder Valarie Kaur ’12 discussing the film on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show.    

For questions about the film or to RSVP for the Dec. 11 premiere, contact visuallawproject@yale.edu

A student-run project founded in 2010 and housed in the Information Society Project, the Visual Law Project at Yale Law School trains law students in the art of visual advocacy and produces short documentary films on legal and policy issues.