Help us document a revolutionary program run by men incarcerated at the Green Haven Correctional Facility
The Visual Law Project and the Green Haven Prison Project at Yale Law School seek your support for a film they are producing on a groundbreaking program run by men in prison. The film spotlights the Project for a Calculated Transition, or PACT, which is a self-advocacy and educational organization run entirely by men incarcerated at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in New York.
Since 1985, Yale law students have been traveling to Green Haven to participate in PACT’s programming. Alumni including Cory Booker and James Forman Jr. say that the lessons they learned from the men in PACT were a turning point in their understanding of criminal justice. By donating to this project, you will help cast a light on PACT, a program that has had a measurable effect on incarcerated men and Yale law students for decades.
About the Film
The film came about because the PACT men incarcerated at Green Haven asked Yale students to help them document what they were doing from inside prison. While there are many stories of people outside of prison helping those on the inside, the story of PACT is different. PACT is all about people on the inside helping themselves and making a positive impact on the outside community while still incarcerated:
- The men in PACT run their own character development classes, based on a theory of history that the American prison model was designed for white people and does not promote the rehabilitation of its largely black and Latinx population.
- PACT members run legal research classes for incarcerated people. Their members include successful litigators who have won sentence modifications while on the inside.
- Yale students who visited the program attest to the positive impact it had on them. While the program involves mutual exchange, many alumni cite it as the most educational part of their law school experience. We have completed interviews with prominent alumni, including James Forman Jr., Yale Law Professor, and Pulitzer-winning author, JoAnne Page, the CEO of the Fortune Society (New York’s largest reentry organization), and Rich Buery, the Chief of Policy at the KIPP charter network and the former Deputy Mayor of New York, that reflect the impact PACT had on them and their work on criminal justice reform.
About the Filmmakers
The film’s director is John Lucas, the director of The Cooler Bandits, which received the 2014 Impact Award from the Ohio Department of Corrections as well as the Best Documentary at the 2014 Harlem International Film Festival. (www.coolerbandits.com).
The film is being co-produced by the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy and the Visual Law Project at the Yale Law School. The Visual Law Project has produced numerous films, including one about Connecticut’s “supermax” prison (https://law.yale.edu/isp/initiatives/visual-law-project/films). The Green Haven Prison Project has sent Yale law students to participate in PACT programming at Green Haven for nearly 40 years (https://law.yale.edu/student-life/student-journals-organizations/student-organizations/green-haven-prison-project).