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A radical new look at the politics of the 40 year cover-up featuring the powerful voices of those who lived and those who died
93 backers pledged $15,668 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Governor Cuomo Considers Opening Attica Records

Posted by David Marshall & Chris Christopher (Creator)

Excited to share this news with you -- there may be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Governor Cuomo was asked by James Lawrence,  Editorial Board Editor of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, if he would open the Attica records.  Please read the entry below from the D&C blog:

Posted by James Lawrence • April 2, 2013 • 5:37 pm  

During a more than 75 minute meeting this afternoon with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, he was asked to cover a lot of ground. We talked state budget, today’s indictment of state Senator Malcolm Smith, campaign finance, reducing funding for agencies serving the developmentally disabled, you name it. But I was most encouraged by Cuomo’s response to my question about the 1971 Attica riot investigation. I asked him , just as we did last month in a Sunday editorial, to unseal documents relating to the riot. Cuomo said he had asked his legal counsels to look into the matter and that a decision could be expected within the next two weeks. For the sake of truth, let’s hope the governor’s lawyers give him the OK. And if there is some sort of impediment to doing so, I hope the governor will use his authority to find a way to remove it. Two local filmmakers– Chris Christopher and David Marshall– released a documentary earlier this year that raised seriously questions about why all involved in the riot were granted amnesty. It may very well have been to cover up the state’s role in the deaths of inmates and prison guards. Their families and New Yorkers, in general, deserve to know the truth.

Criminal Injustice is front page news

Posted by David Marshall & Chris Christopher (Creator)
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Criminal Injustice Screening Feb 10

Posted by David Marshall & Chris Christopher (Creator)
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Criminal Injustice Update

Posted by David Marshall & Chris Christopher (Creator)

Hi Friends,

Dave and I wanted to let you know that Criminal Injustice: Death and Politics at Attica is very nearly done. We are very proud of the work, and hope you will be as well.

The future of the film looks very good. We have been invited to present a screening at the prestigious American Historical Association in January with our esteemed colleague and historical consultant Dr. Heather Thompson, Attica survivor Melvin Marshall and for Special Prosecutor turned whistle blower Malcolm Bell -- all of whom lend their powerful voices to the film. We have also been invited to screen the film and participate in a panel discussion at the Organization of American Historians annual conference in San Francisco in April. We are working with WXXI to secure a date for broadcast and community screenings. Of course we want you to be our special guests for the Rochester premiere. This is all exciting beyond our wildest expectations, and please let it be said again that none of this would be possible with you, our backers.  We are, and always will be deeply appreciative.

If you are affiliated with an institution or organization that would like to arrange a screening, please drop us a note.  We have already heard from a few universities, and certainly want the film to be seen and discussed far and wide.

But on to the primary reason for this update -- we promised to distribute our backers rewards this month, and we will be doing so towards the end of the month.  A few weeks ago we sent all our backs an email asking for their address -- and if you haven't sent it to us yet, please don't wait much longer to do so...even if you think we have it!  

Please check out our new website bspfilms.org and friend Blue Sky Project on facebook to keep in touch with this, and our other film projects.  

Deepest appreciation,

Chris and Dave 

Kudos to Heather

Posted by David Marshall & Chris Christopher (Creator)

So proud to learn that our colleague and friend, Dr. Heather Thompson is the only historian selected to serve on The National Academy of Science's Advisory Panel to study the causes and rates of incarceration.  Proud to have her as both a powerful voice and consultant to Criminal Injustice: Death and Politics at Attica. Congratulations Heather!

Heather Ann Thompson, professor of history in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of History at Temple, has been named to a National Academy of Sciences panel to study the causes and consequences of high rates of incarceration in the United States. The two-year, $1.5 million project is sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Thompson, the only historian named to the panel, is writing the first comprehensive history of the Attica Prison Rebellion of 1971 and its legacy. She is also the author of Whose Detroit: Politics, Labor and Race in a Modern American City (Cornell University Press: 2001).

The 18-member panel of leading scholars and experts, chaired by Jeremy Travis, president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, will examine the reasons for the dramatic increases in U.S. incarceration rates since the 1970s. Currently, more than 2.3 million people are behind bars in American prisons and jails at any one time, representing one of the highest incarceration levels in the world.

The commission will focus on existing scientific evidence on incarceration in the U.S. and propose a research agenda on incarceration and alternatives to incarceration for the future. 

Others panelists are Jeffrey Beard, former secretary of the Pennsylvania Corrections Department, now at Pennsylvania State University; Robert Crutchfield, a sociologist at the University of Washington; Tony Fabelo of the Council of State Governments Justice Center; Marie Gottschalk, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania; Craig Haney, professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz; Randall Kennedy, a law professor at Harvard University; Glenn C. Loury, professor of social sciences and economics at Brown University; Sara McLanahan, professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University; Lawrence Mead, professor of politics and public policy at New York University; Ann Morrison Piehl, professor of economics at Rutgers University; Daniel Nagin, professor of public policy and statistics at  Carnegie Mellon University; Devah Pager, a professor of sociology at Princeton;  Robert Sampson, professor of social sciences at Harvard and president of the American Society of Criminology; Michael Tonry, professor of law of the University of Minnesota; Avelardo Valdez, professor of social work at the University of Southern California; and Bruce Western, professor of sociology at Harvard.

http://news.temple.edu/accolade/historian-heather-thompson-named-national-academy-science-advisory-panel