December 15, 2014

Rough Justice: Media and the Realities of Prison Life

Dec 15, 2014
6:30 PM ET
New York

Over recent years, many aspects of the American prison system have been seriously questioned, most notably by The Economist, which succinctly stated: “America locks up too many people for too many things.”

The Paley Center will look at how fiction and nonfiction programming has raised awareness of the realities of prison life and is helping to shape the debate on crucial issues surrounding the incarceration problems, including inequality, poverty, justice, and human rights.

Our panel of experts will offer diverse perspectives and approaches to media’s portrayal of the prison system today—from the documentary Scared Straight and The House I Live In to prime-time series like Oz and Orange Is the New Black to an innovative hip hop show—as well examine such recent justice issues as calls for reform to the Rockefeller laws and the Michael Brown case unraveling in Ferguson.

Funding for this program is provided by The Fledgling Fund.


This program is also in association with





This program is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Bryonn Bain, Artist/Activist,; Founder, NYU Prison Education Program
David McCallum, Subject, David & Me
Oscar Michelen, Esq., David McCallum’s lawyer
Gina Belafonte, Codirector,
Joshua Rofé, Director, Lost for Life
Michael Kenneth Williams, Actor/A.C.L.U Ambassador
Via Skype: Nell Bernstein, Author and Journalist
Moderator: Adam Serwer, National Editor, BuzzFeed News

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