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Tag: Documentaries

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“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”: A Minority Bank, Racial Bias, and the Democratization of Credit 

February 26, 2017

Steve James presents the story of the Sungs and their struggle to save their family-run Chinatown bank from a misguided prosecution based on cultural incompetence.


“The Return”: Resentencing, Reentry Support, and a Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Evolving Roles 

June 21, 2016

“The Return” reveals why a lawyer, deeply involved in the resentencing of Three Strikers as a way of reducing mass incarceration, placed reentry services near the top of his concerns.


Penn Law documentary sheds light on discriminatory impact of Pennsylvania Victims Assistance Compensation Program 

June 18, 2019

The Penn Program on Documentaries and the Law, directed byLaw Professor Regina Austin, has produced a new documentary that exposes the discriminatory impact of a provision of the VCAP law that denies assistance to victims who contribute, or are suspected of contributing, to their own death or injury.



January 25, 2019

A visual call to justice on a lamp post in West Philadelphia??


In new paper, Austin provides backstory to production of “Second Looks, Second Chances” documentary calling for reforms in parole eligibility for life sentences 

December 3, 2018

The documentary was the result of a joint effort between the Penn Program on Documentaries and the Law (“Docs&theLaw”), of which Professor Austin is the director, Lifers, Inc. at Graterford State Correctional Institution, and the Pennsylvania Prison Society.


Film Screening: “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” 

February 1, 2017

Join the Quattrone Center and the Penn Program on Documentaries and the Law on February 6 for a screening of the provocative documentary from acclaimed director Steve James.


A Dignified Death: Reflections on the Treatment of Prisoners and Compassionate Release 

December 10, 2016

In honor of Human Rights Day on December 10th, Hayley Winograd L’17, shares her reflections on her documentary A Dignified Death, which addresses issues of the treatment of prisoners and compassionate release from Pennsylvania state prisons. Introduction by Editor Patricia Stottlemyer, L’17.

International Law 

Only “Good Victims” Need Apply: “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” and Poor Black Women in Crack Culture 

May 27, 2016

The story of a serial killer who took advantage of crack culture to prey on black women can tell us much about what is wrong with the notion of “the good victim.”


Occupy Wall Street Filmmaker Wins First Round in Lawsuit Against Police, NYC 

March 28, 2016

A federal judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit by an activist who was arrested while filming protests in 2011. Now the filmmaker and her legal team will have a chance to investigate the city’s training policies regarding the First Amendment and handling the media.


Defendant uses ‘Cops’ video footage to suppress handgun evidence 

February 23, 2016

Documentary television footage contradicts a police officer’s testimony about a stop-and-frisk, and leads a federal district court to find that the officer violated the defendant’s constitutional rights.