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First Degree
Year:  2015
Running Time:  25 minutes
Country:  USA
Genre:  Documentary
Venue:  Tiburon Playhouse Theater [40 Main Street]
Cast:  John Fugelsang, Harry Belafonte
Showtime:   Friday, April 10, 2015 @ 04:00 PM
Director:  Roger Weisberg

Description:
  First Degree takes viewers inside Sing Sing, the notorious maximum security prison, and introduces them to some unforgettable inmates. We first meet Sean Pica, who was 16 years old when he went to prison in 1986 and thought his life was over until a prison education program called Hudson Link gave Sean an opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. After serving 16 years, Sean was released, but he couldn’t stay away from Sing Sing. Unlike most of the paroled prisoners that Sean met at Sing Sing who reoffended and quickly returned to prison, Sean came back to Sing Sing to run their college program. He takes us through his early days in prison as a hopeless 120-pound, 16-year-old inmate to his discovery that college could open up an entirely new world of opportunity and possibility.

First Degree finds hope in this seemingly hopeless place by investigating an unusual college behind bars that is successfully preventing Sing Sing inmates from being sent back up the river after their release. Nationwide, over half of released inmates return to prison within 5 years, but for the past 14 years, less than 1% of the inmates that received a college degree at Sing Sing returned to prison.

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Screening with: Once My Mother



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