Maurine McFarlane wrote -
The US is leading the world with over 2.3 million people behind bars, well ahead of nations such as China (1.5 million) and leaving Russia in the dust (890,000). “Beyond the sheer number of inmates, America is also the global leader in the rate at which it incarcerates its citizenry,” the study reports, “outpacing nations like South Africa and Iran. The most recent proof is summarized in the title of a report released by the Pew Center on the State: “One in 100: Americans Behind Bars 2008.” The study examines the state of adult Americans (no juveniles were included) to deliver a sobering new measure of a mass incarceration nation. Moreover, over 10 million US children have parents who were imprisoned at some point in the children’s lives. The war on drugs has yielded an increase in an unprecedented numbers of non –violent prisoners reaching over 1 Million, and growing, representing half of the prison population. Lighthouse Covenant International (LCI) has created a strategic media model thatwill begin with our documentary, "Bars of Gold",to be followed by a complete academic Curriculum, Video Resource Library and series of regionally televised Town Hall Meetings to confront this issue.
This documentary is being designed for both PBS and HBO. Besides the goal of creating this documentary for a wide television audience, the documentary will meet the criteria for a feature length film, giving it the opportunity for theatrical exhibition. We plan for the film to play in a wide range of national and international film festivals. The goal of the film is to inform the general public about the issue of mass incarceration, and to help garner support from the public for eradicating this issue. The film will also serve as an exciting and monumental catalyst for the overall initiative.