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COMPLETE PICTURE

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An individual facing prison may also be a dedicated parent, a valued employee, an asset to their community and a person who is much more than their greatest mistake.

THE COMPLETE PICTURE PROJECT

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We are a non-profit with the mission to humanize individuals facing prison for non-violent crimes. Our sensitive, honest, emotionally engaging video portraits empower the defendant to tell their full story to the judge just prior to being sentenced. This personalized video provides a fuller picture of the defendant so that the courts can better understand their value to their families and their communities, which often results in reduced prison sentences where appropriate. These videos are a tool to give the judge confidence to proceed with humane sentencing and often allow persons to return to their homes more quickly

to resume productive lives.

 

We collaborate in the creation of these videos with defense attorneys who represent defendants that come from economically disadvantaged

communities and often from racial minority groups that are

disproportionately incarcerated in U.S. jails and prisons.

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We collaborate in the creation of these videos with defense attorneys who represent defendants that come from economically disadvantaged

communities and often from racial minority groups

that are disproportionately incarcerated

in U.S. jails and prisons.

We are a non-profit with the mission to humanize individuals facing prison for non-violent crimes. Our sensitive, honest, emotionally engaging video portraits empower the defendant to tell their full story to the judge just prior to being sentenced. This personalized video provides a fuller picture of the defendant so that the courts can better understand their value to their families and their communities, which often results in reduced prison sentences where appropriate. These videos are a tool to give the judge confidence to proceed with humane sentencing and often allow persons to return to their homes more quickly to resume productive lives.

We Collaborate

We coordinate with defense attorneys to use the power of storytelling to introduce more context into the legal process.

We Produce Videos

We create personalized videos that convert a grim, stark description of a defendant’s case on paper into a compelling, vibrant, multi-dimensional picture of a real person. 

  • According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics incarceration costs United States taxpayers an estimated $81 billion per year. The Economics of the American Prison System, published by SmartAsset in 2018 points out that this cost eclipsed the GDP of 133 nations.

  • Following the Money of Mass Incarceration published by Prison Policy Initiative in 2017 explains that the entire system of mass criminalization costs U.S. state and federal governments and the defendant’s families over $182 billion per year.

  • While it is not Complete Pictures primary mission to save the government money, one important by-product of the reduced sentences is a substantial savings to taxpayers...money that is much better spent on education, drug rehabilitation, housing for the homeless and mental health care.

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"The judge watched the Complete Picture video three times.

When I took the stand, he looked at me as if he knew me. 

He said, 'You do not belong in prison' ."

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"I can’t believe how amazing the video is. It saved my family from hardships and me from going to prison. I am forever in your debt.

I’m still in shock. Thank you so much."

SOME OF OUR SUCCESS STORIES

The judge has a heavy responsibility to sort through all of the evidence and consider it from every angle in order to reach the most just decision for the defendant and society. Generally, the majority of the information the judge has been provided about the defendant has been negative.

 

Economically disadvantaged people who are convicted of a crime lack the resources to present a complete picture of the factors that led to their offense, and the positive contributions they make to their families and communities.

OUR VIDEOS REFRAME THE CONVERSATION

Interviews with family members, clergy, teachers, employers, counselors or doctors, can help tell the whole story. As we draw these threads together, the story not of a convict, but of a human being, emerges. Our video portrait is an invaluable tool because it provides the judge with a more complete story, emphasizing a more accurate and well-rounded portrayal of the defendant as a multifaceted person, not a generic criminal.

 

Every judge who has viewed a CP video has reconsidered the default of prison, weighing other options that can offer a better outcome for everyone.

Why Create A Complete Picture Video?

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It's a Gamechanger

We are presenting crucial information. A typed up document about a defendant’s transgression is not enough to relay the whole truth. 

It's Leveling The Field

By allowing defendants to tell their stories, we help to make the criminal justice system more balanced. Without it, the deck is often

stacked against them. The bottom line is this: 

THEY ARE EFFECTIVE.

It's Decriminalizing

Our system often criminalizes people suffering from Substance Use Disorder. By emphasizing this medical condition, defendants are more likely to get the treatment they need.

It's Promoting Rehabilitation

Our videos make evident the need for mental health care, drug rehab, and job training for individuals who would benefit from recovery programs and education while they are in prison.

Courage is believing you can move

forward even after you've made a mistake.

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Empathy

Courage

Compassion

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At Complete Picture, we recognize that individuals have value to their family and community even if they have committed a crime. We believe in the right of due process. If we can enable the judge to see the defendant as their family does, then we know we've done our job."

At Complete Picture, we recognize that individuals have value to their family and community even if they have committed a crime. We believe in the right of due process. If we can enable the judge to see the defendant as their family does, then we know we've done our job."

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“As criminal defense attorneys, we humanize our clients by getting their back story. So many suffer from bipolar disorder or some other form of mental illness. Stories of my client’s lives are heartbreaking… child abuse, sexual abuse, extreme poverty, and you wonder what happens to kids who survive that. They don’t generally grow up to be CEOs.

They wind up being my clients.”

- Shari Rusk Esq.

Criminal Defense Attorney

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- Sha Stepter

Complete Picture

Producer | Cinematographer

"The main issues with the criminal justice system is that it is often biased towards minorities and people of color. It also regularly treats poverty as a crime and uses where you came from, such as low income communities, as a factor against you.

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"The main issues with the criminal justice system is that it is often biased towards minorities and people of color. It also regularly treats poverty as a crime and uses where you came from, such as low income communities, as a factor against you.

- Sha Stepter

 Complete Picture

  Producer | Cinematographer

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At Complete Picture, we recognize that individuals have value to their family and community even if they have committed a crime. We believe in the right of due process. If we can enable the judge to see the defendant as their family does, then we know we've done our job."

- Rebecca Grace

  Founder | CEO 

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