Injustice: the prison documentary
This is an astonishing piece of work… The choice of cast gives a panorama of points of view focusing on factual and real situation of prison today. By including historical context and clever use of quotations (it) also shows that prisons have never really worked in the way people feel they do – Faith Spear, former Prison Monitor
The prison documentary Injustice began with the 2016-17 prison riots, the worst prison riots in decades. Across the nation, prisons erupted as campaigners and prisoners warned. Injustice was cast in the flames of the riots to shine light on the so-called prison crisis. The documentary shows that it’s not that prisons are in crisis, prisons are the crisis.
Injustice tells the story of prison and the criminal justice system from the perspective of prisoners. It delves into the history of prisons and prisoners to show how we got to the present situation – a situation that makes things worse rather than better.
Prison inspectors, guards, activists, criminologists and even prison governors tell us who the prisoners are and why they are inside. Injustice shows what happens on the inside from the inside. We also hear from families of prisoners to understand their broader impact. We witness first hand the difference between what prisons are supposed to do and what they do in reality.
We find that the majority of prisoners are from broken homes, poor backgrounds with little education or prospects. The documentary shows the impact of more than 60% of prisoners suffering mental health problems. We are led to ask how disadvantaging people further deepens social problems rather than providing solutions.
The film forces us to ask the question: Are prisons just a response to a failed social system?
Criminologists and sociologists provide context, explaining the context of criminalisation, with prisoners telling the stories of how they ended up in the criminal justice system. A prison governor joins us to recall the lessons he learned, that it really could happen to anyone.
Not just another documentary
Injustice is not just another documentary telling the story from the outside. It opposes the mainstream media narratives about prison and prisoners that dehumanise them to help people make sense of a senseless situation.
The documentary refuses to show prison as a spectical. It shows that prisoners are human beings, not animals. We didn’t ask the authorities for permission to make the documentary. Instead we asked the prisoners.
Visit the Injustice documentary website