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WHO WE HELP

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.

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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.

  • According to a 2018 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, black men are 6 times as likely to be incarcerated as their white counterparts. Latino men are 2.7 times as likely to be incarcerated as their white counterparts.

  • 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.

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Women

A 2020 Report by The Sentencing Project revealed the following three statistics:

  • Women’s state prison populations grew 700% over 40 years, more than double the growth in men’s prisons.

  • Though many more men are in prison than women, the rate of growth for female imprisonment has been twice as high as that of men since 1980.

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

  • According to an article published by Vera Institute of Justice in 2016, 86% of women in jail have experienced sexual violence. 77% have experienced partner violence.

  

  • A 2018 report from Bureau of Justice Statistics disclosed that almost half of all prisoners in the U.S. are incarcerated due to a drug offense. Prisons are not effective drug rehabilitation centers.

  • As evidenced in a report published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, 70% of people who suffer from Substance Use Disorder have a history of childhood trauma. Shifting resources to a community-based prevention such as affordable counseling, medical care, and treatment for substance abuse will help circumvent the path to prison.

  

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  • A 2018 report from Bureau of Justice Statistics disclosed that almost half of all prisoners in the U.S. are incarcerated due to a drug offense. Prisons are not effective drug rehabilitation centers.

  • As evidenced in a report published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, 70% of people who suffer from substance use disorder have a history of childhood trauma. Shifting resources to a

People Suffering from Addiction

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community-based prevention such as affordable counseling, medical care, and treatment for substance abuse will help circumvent the path to prison.

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People Suffering from Mental Illness

  • 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 prisons than in hospitals.

  • Complete Pictures videos include interviews with the defendant’s personal physician’s therapists or counselors - who are best positioned to recommend better rehabilitation alternatives.

The following two statistics are noted in author Bryan Stevenson’s acclaimed book “Just Mercy.

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Economically Disadvantaged

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  • 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.

  • A new study by Sociologist and Stanford professor Matthew Clair describes how 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.

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The Affluent

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  • Even individuals with means can struggle to have their full story told. One serious mistake can sometimes effectively erase an otherwise exemplary life.

  • "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.

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Judges

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Families

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

  • According to an article published by Prison Legal News in 2017, 1 in 14 U.S. children has or has had an incarcerated parent.

  • The Sentencing Project’s 2020 updated statistics on women and girls reveal that   1 in 50 Children in the U.S. currently has a parent in prison.

  • The same report also states that more than 60% of women in prison have a child under 18.

  • Reentry Resources, published in 2018 by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health states that More than 5 million children, or 7% of all children in the U.S., has had a parent who served time in jail or prison."

  • "On any given day, as many as 2.7 million children – or one in 28 – have a parent in prison or jail. For African-American children, the rate is one in nine.”

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

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Taxpayers

  • Following the Money of Mass Incarceration published by the Prison Policy Initiative in 2017, the entire system of mass criminalization costs U.S. state and federal governments and the families of justice-involved-people $182 billion per year.

 

  • According to Criminal In Justice, a BerkeleyLaw University of California report, 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.​​

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  • On average, each Complete Picture sentencing video reduces prison time for the defendant by 3.5 years, savings of more than a quarter million taxpayer dollars per defendant in California.

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The Public

  • Reentry Resources, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health in 2018 reveals that due to the expansion of criminalization “more than 70 million people – roughly one in three Americans of working age – has a criminal record.

  • American Psychological Association featured an article called "Incarceration Nation" stating that the United States is home to almost 5% of the world’s population and 25% of its prisoners.

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

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

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Defense Attorneys

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  • “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

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