A Prison in the Fields

A part of the Corrections Documentary Project

Asking one of the biggest questions surrounding today’s prison expansion — “Where do new prisons get built?” — this 20 minute documentary explores the how and why new prisons are being built and why they are typically placed in remote, rural communities.

Since most communities do not want prisons built near them, the state has turned to impoverished rural communities, advertising new prisons as a promise of jobs and new “economic development,” as if a prison were a new factory or plant.

A Prison in the Fields pictures one such town, an impoverished rural community in central California, which is about to get its SECOND state prison in ten years. While most community members have no idea about the planned prison, others have been told it will be an “economic driver.”

A useful tool for communities being confronted with a prison themselves, to see the difference between how a prison is “sold” and it’s real, likely impact.

A valuable organizing and public education tool, it leaves us to question whether the state’s violence in ’71 has been tempered, or merely built invisibly into the walls and structures of today’s system.

Special thanks to:

Rose Braz & Critical Resistance, Jean Flores, Caroline Farrel & the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, Esmerelda Martinez

2002 / 18 minutes