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Sunday, February 18, 2018


4:30 PM


The New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th St.
New York, NY 10023

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Film & Discussion – Rikers: An American Jail

RIKERS: AN AMERICAN JAIL, a riveting new documentary from Bill Moyers, brings you face to face with men and women who have endured incarceration at Rikers Island. Their stories, told direct to camera, vividly describe the cruel arc of the Rikers experience-from the shock of entry, to the extortion and control exercised by other inmates, the oppressive interaction with corrections officers, the beatings and stabbings, the torture of solitary confinement and the many challenges of returning to the outside world.

Two formerly incarcerated individuals, featured in the film — now advocates for criminal justice reform — will participate in a discussion following the screening:

JOHNNY PEREZ is the Director of the US Prisons Program of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. Johnny also works to change unjust policies and practices in the criminal justice system as a member of the NY Advisory Committee to the US Civil Rights Commission. He is a member of JustLeadershipUSA’s Leading with Conviction Program, the NYC Bar Association’s Correction and Reentry Committee, and the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere, and he is completing his book, Uncuffed: Reflections on Criminal Justice after 13 Years of Incarceration.

REVEREND HECTOR B. CUSTODIO, a.k.a. Pastor Benny, is Senior Pastor at Immanuel-First Spanish United Methodist Church in Brooklyn, and is the Founder and CEO of Never Forsaken Re-entry Ministries. Pastor Benny will graduate this May with a PhD in Ministry from Andover Newton Theological School. He is a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor, currently working with the mental health, substance abuse, and re-entry population.

Also participating:

DAVID ROTHENBERG, founder of the Fortune Society.

TYLER NIMS is executive director of the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, chaired by Judge Jonathan Lippman. Mr. Nims is an attorney at Latham & Watkins LLP. He previously served as law clerk to US District Judge Raymond J. Dearie and Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo of the South African Constitutional Court and practiced civil rights litigation in Chicago.

The discussion will be moderated by Graham Rayman, an award-winning crime reporter for the New York Daily News.


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