The Corrections Project documentary series tackles America's carceral state

Check out the Corrections Documentary Project organized by Ashley Hunt. The first discusses the impact of private prison industries on public prisons, the war on terror, immigration, and border control. Directly related to these larger forces, the second documentary examines how local communities are often forced into accepting prison building as an economic development project despite evidence that does not support the policies that prisons can revitalize towns and cities.

"The Corrections Documentary Project is an ongoing body of work about the prison industrial complex and mass incarceration, primarily examining the politics and economics of the 800% increase of the U.S. prison population since 1970, produced in dialogue with people and organizations from communities most affected by prisons and policing. The project is comprised of ten videos, two maps and additional projects that reveal the manner in which this system helps structure and preserve historical hierarchies of today's society through the rhetoric of crime control."

"What is the relationship between the "War on Terror" and the interests behind the growing U.S. prison industry? What have the events of September 11th meant for the already booming prison system? In addition to "correctional" agencies and corporations, who else is profiting from massive increases in incarceration and what other forms could that take?

Lockdowns Up is a nine-minute video essay based upon the optimistic stock projections announced to Wall Street stock analysts by a private prison company, when Cornell Company made public its hopes that private prison companies may get fat government contracts to build internment camps for Arab Americans. Issues touched upon: the War on Terror, the Patriot Act, the criminalization of immigrants and the booming of border control bureaucracies and companies, the Feds' "bailout" of the private prison industry, the U.S.'s Internment Camps from World War II."

"Since most communities do not want prisons built near them, the state has turned to impoverished rural communities, advertising new prisons as a promise of jobs and new "economic development," as if a prison were a new factory or plant. A Prison in the Fields pictures one such town, an impoverished rural community in central California, which is about to get its SECOND state prison in ten years. While most community members have no idea about the planned prison, others have been told it will be an "economic driver."

Other films in the series also include Attica: Roots of Resistance, New Orleans Jazz Funeral, Close Tallulah Now, and An Incident at the Calliope Projects, among others.

"Ashley Hunt is interested in how images, objects, maps, writing and performance can engage social ideas and actions, including those of social movements, daily life, the exercise of political power, and the disciplinary boundaries that separate our art worlds from the larger worlds in which they sit. His current project, Degrees of Visibility, is a large body of landscape photographs from throughout the fifty U.S. states and territories, documenting spaces in which prisons sit from publicly available points of view — looking at how prisons are presented and camouflaged within our everyday perception, forming a part of an aesthetics of mass incarceration."