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The Prison Within - Katherin Hervey

The Prison Within

Filmmaker: Katherin Hervey
Producers: Katherin Hervey, Eric Frith, Erin Kenway
Status: Completed

Survivors of violent crimes and prisoners incarcerated for murder connect inside San Quentin Prison to undergo astonishing transformations, liberating themselves from the debilitating constraints of trauma, and shattering preconceptions of “us and them”.

The Prison Within exposes the devastating impact untreated trauma has on individuals and communities through the powerful stories of survivors of violent crimes and prisoners incarcerated for murder in San Quentin prison. The prisoners and survivors come together and participate in the Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG) — an innovative restorative justice program enabling prisoners to discover how the trauma they’ve experienced contributed to their criminality and to understand the impact their crimes have on their victims. Together, the prisoners and survivors confront and expose the pain, shame, and rage caused by the extreme trauma they’ve experienced throughout their lives.

Director Katherin Hervey, a former Los Angeles Public Defender and volunteer prison college instructor, is the first filmmaker to gain access to document the intimate and revealing VOEG sessions inside San Quentin. The Prison Within leads the viewer on an emotional journey that seeks to challenge viewer’s perceptions of criminals and victims, exposing a pathway to heal the collective impact of trauma on individuals and communities.