LIVE AT THE HOLIDAY INN DOCUMENTARY

$5,288 of $15k goal

Raised by 38 people in 3 months
Adam Humphreys  BROOKLYN, NY
What Works?

How a civil rights activist became father of the American gulag.


Late one afternoon in the summer of 1979, sociologist Robert Martinson hurled himself to his death through the window of his fifteenth floor Manhattan apartment while his teenaged son Michael slept in his bedroom some twenty feet away. A charismatic socialist and civil rights activist in his youth, at the age of 48 Martinson made a name for himself in academia and corrections policy by boldly claiming that rehabilitation efforts had no effect whatsoever on whether or not the incarcerated would return to crime. That wasn't entirely true—but Martinson thought attacking the current models of rehabilitation or “treatment” would result in a new dialog about crime and what to do about it. Instead, his work caused a total abandonment of rehabilitation programs and a forty-year run of rising incarceration rates, to the incalculable detriment of American society. Martinson realized his error and recanted his thesis only four years later, but by then it was too late.


This is the story of Robert Martinson, a talented, embattled man, as told by his friends, lovers, and son Michael. It is a story about fatherhood, the allure of fame, and the hazardous intersection between scientific research and public policy.

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Why are some people's life's work ignored or kept underground, whereas others achieve great fame?

We will probe this question through two lesser figures who had similar experiences but caused far less pain: Jerry Miller, the rogue bureaucrat who proved we don’t need prisons, and Armand Schaubroeck, an ex-con turned successful entrepreneur who made some of the wildest, most entertaining and profane prison music you’ll ever hear—a man whose integrity denied him fame, but not a successful and happy life.

Employing several documentary genres, these three stories will show us: a) how a contested scientific study came to affect millions of lives—for the worse—and ultimately destroy its author, b) the conditions within and outside of prisons that enabled this research to become the lodestar of corrections policy in America, and c) how today we might come to see social and policy issues in a more nuanced, depoliticized, and potentially productive light. 


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We've been working on this off and on for over two years, and have already invested 16k. This next 15k will fund trips to Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Eugene, Oregon to conduct interviews with a historian, Rita Carter, and an acquaintance from Martinson's youth.

We hope in unearthing Martinson's story, and putting his ideas in context, we can better understand how and why mass incarceration came into existence.

By holding individuals morally accountable, and by showing, via story rather than rhetoric, the chaotic interplay of human actors and their motivations, this film will sidestep rote truths about the corrections system and deliver us into a higher understanding of an unfathomable injustice, perhaps helping policy makers avoid a similar path going forward.

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WHO I AM
Adam Humphreys. I live in New York and run a small oproduction company called Videospa.

I am the director and producer of this film.

I am using the money to fund a trip to interview key parties in the film.
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Update 1
Posted by Adam Humphreys
3 months ago
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Hi there:

Here's the story of Robert Martinson, in full, told for the very first time, for your reading enjoyment.

http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2016/12/15/robert-martinson-and-the-tragedy-of-the-american-prison/

Please share and DONATE

Thanks!
Tragic, Tragic, Tragedy
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$5,288 of $15k goal

Raised by 38 people in 3 months
Created December 11, 2016
$236
Anonymous
2 months ago
$5
Anonymous
2 months ago
DD
$50
David Devonis
2 months ago

My kind of history!

$15
Anonymous
3 months ago
DJ
$50
David Jones
3 months ago
JK
$50
JR Kraus
3 months ago

Get after it!

DS
$10
Dom Siravo
3 months ago

Give communism a chance

DN
$50
Dr. S Nelson
3 months ago
MR
$40
miles ross
3 months ago

good luck my dude

$40
Anonymous
3 months ago
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