Producer and Director Tamara Perkins has been a leader in the social justice and juvenile justice reform movement within the Bay Area for over a decade. Her vision of creating Life After Life was inspired while working inside San Quentin State Prison as a Yoga and meditation instructor in 2006. Compelled to expose the devastating impact of incarceration on urban communities and the opportunity for transformation, Tamara teamed up with Co-Producer Jesse Dana to build support, access and collaborations to create Life After Life .
Setting Life After Life apart from other prison films is the extraordinary access to the incarcerated men, facilities, experts, and leaders in the system of corrections. Through her background in grief support, Tamara creates a safe environment for each subject, bringing authenticity to interviews that cover sensitive, personal stories. From her relationships and connections within the Bay Area social justice community, Tamara and the Life After Life team have developed significant relationships with policy and public agencies including the ACLU of Northern California, Alameda County Public Health, Equal Justice Society, The San Francisco Foundation and PolicyLink as well as universities such as Saint Mary’s University and San Francisco State University.
Life After Life has an opportunity to bring a voice to an issue deemed the “silent crisis”. With 1 in 31 American’s under the umbrella of corrections, there has never been a more pressing time to mobilize the public toward significant prison reform. Life After Life fulfills this opportunity by creating a contemporary documentary that creates intimacy for the viewer with an innovative photographic vision with the highest level of production. The film presents fact-based pragmatic arguments for change with an emotionally affecting visual representation to reach the broadest possible audience.
The Prison System
- The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with 7.3 million (1-in-100) adults under Correctional Control.
- California boasts the highest recidivism rate in the country, with more than 70 percent of released inmates returning to prison within 3 years.
- As of 2007, California spends more incarcerating 167,000 adults than it does to educate 226,000 students in its 10-campus University of California system.
- States spend on average nearly three times as much per prisoner as per public school pupil.
- Approximately 93,000 American youth are held in Juvenile Justice facilities; 4,302 children arrested each day.
- As of 2008, 46 percent of the Corrections population had a family member who had been incarcerated.
- The highest rates of incarceration occur in poor urban areas and among Latino and African Americans males.
- One in 3 African American men, 20–29 years old, is under correctional supervision or control.
- 83 percent of individuals incarcerated in state prison have an identified substance abuse.
- In the Bay Area neighborhoods in Oakland, San Francisco, and Richmond are experiencing multiple generations of families behind bars.