Work Release

An educational documentary about the work-release program in the Alabama prison system.

00:12Copy video clip URL Tape begins with a young man being processed in a prison. Voiceover: “This is where it all begins. This is where an Alabama citizen comes in contact with the Board of Corrections. For he has violated the law and the law has taken its course. Now this man is being removed from society, and he’s taking the long, long walk away from society into the prison system. What will happen to him? What’s going to happen to his family? What will he be like when he comes out? What sort of man will the Alabama Board of Corrections return to society after they’ve had their chance at working with him?”

01:27Copy video clip URL The incarcerated man, now out of prison, is seen being laid off at a construction job. 

01:45Copy video clip URL Cut back to prison.

02:51Copy video clip URL The man, Rick, is at a job interview, where the interviewer tells him there is no work but he will be contacted at some point in the future if a job comes up. 

03:29Copy video clip URL Cut back to prison. 

05:00Copy video clip URL Cut to Rick’s family. Voiceover wonders what will happen to them, emotionally and financially. “Maybe work-release is the answer. This new form of treatment of the Alabama prisoner has been said to be one of the best things to happen to the prison system. Why don’t we follow this young man through the system and see if it works?”

05:35Copy video clip URL A van arrives at an outdoor work site. Rick and several other men get out. The voiceover describes the process as they meet with the correctional counselor. 

06:33Copy video clip URL The counselor explains the rules and regulations of their stay at the work-release center. 

10:35Copy video clip URL The incarcerated men play pool and ping-pong and watch TV after a day’s work.

11:33Copy video clip URL Cut back to the counselor explaining movement and visitation policies. 

12:52Copy video clip URL Cut to the outside and inside of the space in which they’ll be staying.

13:30Copy video clip URL Cut back to counselor. 

14:10Copy video clip URL Rick meets with an administrator at the work-release center, who explains their policies for attaining a GED as well a potential opportunity for training in a foundry, a skill that will hep him find employment when he is released. 

16:10Copy video clip URL Rick meets with a manager at the foundry. 

19:10Copy video clip URL Rick is shown the workings of the foundry while the voiceover explains the amount of money that has been paid and earned through work-release.

22:50Copy video clip URL A successful graduate of the work-release program, who has adjusted back into society “the way the program was intended.”

23:31Copy video clip URL Direct address to camera about the video we have just watched: “Only time will tell if this program served its purpose” for Rick. Statistics about recidivism. “Maybe work-release is not the total answer. A combination of vocational training, educational training, counseling, and interpersonal skill certainly aid in correctional rehabilitation. Only time will tell us if we are successful. If you’d like to help, contact the Board of Corrections. Tell us if you are interested. This is the end of this program, but it is only the beginning for the men in our program.”

24:55Copy video clip URL End of video. 

25:05Copy video clip URL An elderly Black woman. Voiceover: “The lady you see before you is my mother. Hi mom! What did you think about the film?” “I think it’s wonderful.” “You think it’s gonna be a success?” “I sure do!” The camera operator discusses making a color documentary about the “entire institution.” He then talks with other family members about the program. 

26:45Copy video clip URL Camera tests and footage taped off of broadcast television.



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