State of Incarceration

I had never been in a prison before I started shooting our newest production, working title “State of Incarceration.” The film will be aired on CBC Doc Zone this fall — it’s a production of 90th Parallel in Toronto.

Since January we’ve filmed inside Fenbrook Institution in Gravenhurst; the Cleveland Unit in SW Texas and San Quentin Penn just north of San Francisco. We’ve also scouted the old Guelph Correctional Centre to do some production shooting next month.

I’ve learned a lot, but most of all I learned the most obvious lesson — I never want to end up in prison.

More on this story later. In the meantime, here are some stills…

James, who is in the 16 year of a 30 year sentence under California's 3-strikes law. He robbed $80 from a Wendy's.

James, who is in the 16 year of a 30 year sentence under California’s 3-strikes law. He robbed $80 from a Wendy’s.

Entrance to San Quentin's death row. There are 705 men in there.

Entrance to San Quentin’s death row. There are 705 men in there.

A cellblock at San Quentin.

A cellblock at San Quentin.

Telephone time.

Telephone time.

The raucous entrance at the Prisoner's Entrepreneurship Program in Texas.

The raucous entrance at the Prisoner’s Entrepreneurship Program in Texas.

Texas prison dance off.

Texas prison dance off.

Etiquette class at the PEP.

Etiquette class at the PEP.

Lonely hall at the former Guelph Correctional Centre. It's now mothballed .

Lonely hall at the former Guelph Correctional Centre. It’s now mothballed .

Cell, GCC.

Cell, GCC.