Each year, more than 600,000 people in the U.S. are released from state and federal prisons. However, more than 450,000 are arrested again within five years, often due to technical violations or non-criminal behavior.
Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), in partnership with the Writers Guild of America, presented a timely series of online conversations on topics related to the pandemic, bringing together storytellers and experts. The popular series of evening webinars, held every Tuesday, covered topics in the age of COVID-19 such as addiction, Black maternal health, criminal justice, older adults and caregiving, mental health, reproductive rights, and lupus and hydroxychloroquine.
Webinars with experts on COVID-19; raising alarms about the criminal justice system; TV dramas donate medical equipment to hospitals; and the pandemic's effect on the black community is compared to HIV.
What threw the topic of over-incarceration in the U.S. into sharp relief wasn't so much the bleak laundry list of statistics that underscored the fact that we lock up more people than the rest of the world—and for longer periods of time. Instead, it was a simple question directed at the audience just prior to the start of the panel discussion "Beyond Bars: Changing the Narrative on Criminal Justice."
"How many of you in this room know someone, someone close to you, who has been in jail or prison?" asked Kate Folb, director of Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S).