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Eastern State Penitentiary

This documentary, produced by Forged Images, traces the history of one of America’s first prisons. This compelling and scholarly film, illustrated with period lithographs, engravings, and photographs, gives a detailed history of the prison from its initial practices of solitary confinement, through its transformation into an overcrowded "Big House," to its replacement with a modern facility in 1970. Although distinctive in its original design, Eastern's history illuminates two centuries of debate about the purposes and practices of prisons in American society.

This video is suitable and accessible for a general audience.

Recommended for use in Criminal Justice Studies, Social Problems, or U.S. History courses. (Text from movie.)

Narrated by Verna Avery-Brown
Original Music by Braydon McCormick
Written & Directed by Christine Bowditch
Edited by Paul Cady
Historical Consultant: Paul Eisenhauer

Includes text on race and ethnicity from Strangers in our Midst, an exhibition at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, 1997/1998. Researched and Written by Paul Eisenhauer, William J. Johnston, Jr. and Jennifer Lawrence Janofsky.

Running time 53 minutes; DVD, color/B&W

$22.45 ($19.95 plus $2.50 S & H)