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15 To Life Kenneth’s Story

2014
Distributed by Outcast Films, 511 6th Avenue Suite 398, New York, NY 10011; 646-512-2596
Produced by Nadine Pequeneza and OutCast Films
Directed by Nadine Pequeneza
DVD, color, 52 min.
College - General Adult
Juvenile Delinquency, Civil Rights, Adolescents, Death Penalty, Prisons


Reviewed by Malcolm L. Rigsby, Department of Sociology and Human Services, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Recommended   
 
Date Entered: 5/4/2015

This cutting edge film will bring the viewer into a discussion and evaluation of whether our nation’s juvenile justice system needs to be revised or modified when it comes to adult waiver. Waiver is the procedure of adjudicating a minor as an adult and exposing them to the full extent of the adult criminal process and correctional system. America’s juvenile system is only slightly over 100 years old, but may be in need of revision.

The film director Nadine Pequeneza examines juvenile sentences in America where the minor has been waived to the adult process. As the film points out, she is not seeking to declare these individuals unfairly convicted as adults, but rather interpose whether minors may be more appropriate for potential rehabilitation. If so, then there is need to salvage each potential case. Hence, even in cases which have traditionally been adjudicated as “life without parole” there an opportunity to salvage a life, turn individuals around, generate productive outcomes, and transform pro-social identities.

The film is well shot with excellent sound and editing. The Outcast Films’ website provides a virtual classroom for instructors or discussion leaders by which to develop lesson plans. It also provides a link for scheduling a film screening or Q&A with the filmmaker. PBS through POV offers many other materials, links and information for the classroom and discussion groups. Interested individuals may also join the Facebook Kenneth’s Story Community. Watch the HitPlay Productions’ film trailer via their Vimeo site.