The Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, STEPS to End Family Violence and the Women in Prison Project of the Correctional Association of NY hosted a special screening of the award-winning documentary Crime After Crime on Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 7:30pm at NYC's IFC Center.
Following the screening, director Yoav Potash and NY advocates led a thought-provoking panel discussion regarding the intersection of abuse and women's incarceration.
Crime After Crime chronicles the experience of Deborah Peagler, a California woman charged with murder in the first degree for her role in the death of her abusive boyfriend. After being threatened with the death penalty, Debbie was sentenced to 25 years to life without ever having a trial. After Debbie had already served 20 years, California passed a law allowing incarcerated survivors of abuse to reopen their cases. The documentary follows the story of Debbie and her two rookie pro bono attorneys as they encounter twists and turns within the criminal justice system, providing an eye-opening commentary on "justice" and the practical (and political) realities of the legal system.
The NYC premiere followed on the heels of successful screenings at the Sundance Film Festival, the LA Film Festival, and the San Antonio Film Festival where Crime After Crime won Grand Prize.
Proceeds from the screening supported the unique and critical work of STEPS to End Family Violence - the only alternative-to-incarceration program in New York State specifically serving survivors of abuse who interface with the criminal justice system.
Learn more about barriers to justice for survivor-defendants:
Download “From Protection to Punishment: Post-Conviction Barriers to Justice for Domestic Violence Survivor-Defendants in New York State,” a report co-authored by the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School and the Correctional Association's Women in Prison Project.
Learn more about New York's Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act. The proposed Act, which was recently introduced in the New York State Legislature, is the only bill in the country that would allow judges to impose significantly lower sentences on survivors or to sentence them to alternative-to-incarceration programs. For more information, please contact Jaya Vasandani, Women in Prison Project Associate Director or Jesenia A. Santana, Legal Services Coordinator of STEPS and Violence Against Women Committee Co-Chair of the Coalition for Women Prisoners.