A sentencing mitigation video is not right for every situation, but for many, it provides an extraordinary benefit and has the power to drastically alter the outcome of sentencing.

Racial Minorities

  • Statistically, black, brown, and economically disadvantaged defendants are more likely to be incarcerated than their white and middle-class counterparts, and they face longer sentences.

  • Black men are 6 times as likely to be incarcerated as their white counterpart. Latino men are 2.7 times as likely to be incarcerated as their white counterpart.

  • CP’s videos are successfully challenging implicit bias, by offering the judge a sense of what it might have been like to walk in the defendant’s shoes.


  • Women’s state prison populations grew 834% over 40 years, more than double the growth in men’s prisons.

  • Our country punishes women more harshly than other countries punish their citizens of any genders.

  • One out of every 100 African-American women in the U.S. is now incarcerated, nearly three times the rate for women overall.

  • More than half of all prisoners in the U.S. are incarcerated due to a drug offense. Prisons are not effective drug rehabilitation centers.

  • 85% of people who suffer from Substance Use Disorder have a history of childhood trauma.

People Suffering From Addiction

Mentally Ill

  • Over 50% of inmates in the US are diagnosed with mental illness.

  • There are more than three times more seriously mentally ill patients in jails or prison than in hospitals.

  • Prison is the default response for even lower crimes, and it is not effective at rehabilitation. Our videos include interviews with the defendant’s personal physician, therapist or counselor who usually recommend better alternatives.

Economically Disadvantaged

  • Disadvantaged people lack the resources to present a complete picture of the factors that led to their crime, or the positive contributions they make to their families and communities.

  • Disadvantaged people, predisposed to distrust the legal system, are more likely to experience tension with their court appointed attorneys. This tension further deepens their disadvantaged position.

  • Our videos allow them to tell their story in an unthreatening environment, in their own voice and in the voices of their loved one.

The Privileged

  • “…nearly every defendant, privileged or disadvantaged, experienced some form of alienation from school, family, neighbors, peers, or broader society in adolescence. Criminalized behaviors, such as drug use and dealing, emerged among alienation.


      Matthew Clair

      Author of Privilege and Punishment


  • At the gateway between freedom and prison, one judge’s decision dictates the trajectory of a person’s life forever.  The judge has little before him but the hard, cold facts of the case.

  • Our video portrait is an invaluable tool, providing a more accurate and well-rounded portrayal of the defendant as a full human being.



  • When a person is sent to prison, the fallout for their family and community has long-range consequences.

  • One in 14 U.S. children has an incarcerated parent.

  • CP’s videos help minimize collateral damage such as children being sent to foster homes and elderly parents to care facilities.


  • The entire system of mass criminalization costs U.S. state and federal governments and the families of justice-involved-people $182 billion per year.


  • The yearly incarceration cost burdening the American taxpayer ranges, depending on the state, between $31,000 and $120,000 per inmate. Complete Picture has been instrumental in saving taxpayers millions of dollars.


  • On average, each Complete Picture sentencing video reduces prison time by 3.5 years.

  • The reduction of prison time equates to more than a quarter million taxpayer dollars per defendant in California.

The Public

  • We are in a uniquely punitive era in U.S. history. Due to the expansion of criminalization, 1 in 3 Americans has a criminal record.  We incarcerate more people per capita than any other country in the world.

  • 95% of people incarcerated in state prisons eventually return to their communities, traumatized by the brutal environment they experienced there.

  • Our videos emphasize if the person is ready to engage in mental health care, drug rehab, or job training that can enable their return as a productive member of society.

Defense Attorneys

  • “Hiring Complete Picture to produce a sentencing video… was the single most important thing I did for my client as his attorney. After reviewing the 12-minute video, the District Court Judge sentenced him to time served... In the three years prior to sentencing, my client made some incredible changes in his life. The sentencing video captured the emotional and visual qualities of his story of change in a way my lawyerly words on paper could never…

I can’t say enough about the amazing work of Complete Picture. They are committed to reshaping the way judges absorb information about defendants they sentence, and to tell the stories of struggle and change by those impacted by the criminal justice system.”


Etan Zaitsu

Attorney at Law



Headquarters:   Fremont, CA  94536    323.683.5689