Pullman, Wash. – The Washington State University Common Reading program is hosting a showing of the 2014 Frontline television documentary “Prison State”, Monday Nov. 9 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. in Heald G3.
“Prison State” follows four people caught up in Kentucky’s criminal justice system. The two teenage girls and two adult men featured in the film liven in Beecher Terrace, a housing project in Louisville, where one out of every six people cycle in and out of prison every year. Juvenile detention, mental illness, and addiction are highlighted as they contribute to the prison population.
Louisville’s jail is a few hundred yards from Beecher Terrace and houses inmates awaiting trial or serving time for minor offenses. Christel Tribble, a 15 year old, is one of the young women the film follows as she is called to court for truancy, a common problem in Beecher Terrace. Another subject, Charles McDuffie, is a 67-year-old Vietnam veteran about to be released from a sentence related to substance abuse. Overcrowding and the need to provide drug and alcohol detox are two of the issues faced by this facility.
Bryan Stevenson, the author of this year’s Common Reading book “Just Mercy” and director of the Equal Justice Initiative, provides commentary in the film.
WSU’s Common Reading program hosts lectures, film showings, and other events that explore the topics approached in each year’s chosen common reading novel. Bryan Stevenson, the author of this year’s Common Reading book, will visit campus and give the annual Common Reading Invited Lecture on Dec. 1 in Beasley Coliseum. The lecture is free and open to the public.