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Documentaries examine prison issues

Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff

Is your city overcriminalized?  What happens to ex-cons when they are released?

1st Tuesday Social Justice Films presents two documentaries on these pressing issues on Jan 5 from 7-9 pm: Over Criminalized?examines the incarceration of the homeless and mentally ill while Released looks at experiences of four ex-convicts trying to find their way in an unfamiliar and unwelcoming world where two-thirds of convicts return to prison within three years. The films will be shown at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff, 3839 W. Kiest Blvd.  No admission is charged and refreshments are provided.  Audience discussion will follow. 

OverCriminalized profiles three promising and less expensive interventions that may actually change the course of people’s lives. “It’s time to roll back mass criminalization and focus on what works.  It seems that for almost every social problem that pops up, we turn to the criminal justice system. Suffering from mental illness? Here’s a cell. Struggling with drug dependency? Let’s throw you in handcuffs.  Sleeping on the street? Here’s an arrest record.  And if you are a person of color, the criminal justice crackdown can be even worse,” notes Brave New Films.

Released is the story of four ex- convicts - Vilma Ortiz Donovan, Kenneth Harrigan, Casimiro Torres and Angel Ramos - who spent over 70 years in prison combined.  Released with no homes to go to or jobs for support, they ended up in a prisoner reentry facility in New York City known as “The Castle”, run by former convicts and established by The Fortune Society. With the help of The Castle, all four overcame their traumatic personal histories and chronic criminal behavior to become exemplary citizens, a journey each of them will share, courtesy of the Video Project.

This presentation is co-sponsored by the UUCOC’s Social Justice Ministry and is operated by volunteers. For more information about the film series, visit or


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3839 W. Kiest · Dallas, TX 75233

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