Pathways to Prison

Pathways to Prison
January 31, 2017 paperlesslion

Discover why so many people go to prison — and what the future may hold — in a new documentary airing tonight, “Pathways to Prison.” Produced by Detroit Public Television’s One Detroit Bureau, the film aired on DPTV — Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. ET and online at

The U.S. imprisons more people than any other country, but America’s “get tough on crime” era may be evolving, as more people are realizing the greater societal and economic costs. In Pathways to Prison, One Detroit explores the forces leading to imprisonment and the stories behind the statistics.

Pathways begins in schools, where suspensions and expulsions are up, especially for African American students. Remarkably, 113 Michigan children in Pre-K, younger than five years old, had been suspended in just one recent year. Studies also show how poverty and its psychological and physical effects can lead to a cycle of imprisonment.

What about prison reform? Michigan spends about $35,000 a year for each of its 42,000 inmates (about $1.47 billion each year). DPTV, in partnership with the Detroit Journalism Cooperative (DJC), will help you understand the stories behind the statistics and the state of our prison system.

Viewers will be able to watch on DPTV or online by visiting Learn more about One Detroit’s other projects by visiting

One Detroit is supported by Masco Corporation Foundation.  The Detroit Journalism Cooperative is supported by the Corporation for Public BroadcastingKnight FoundationFord Foundation, and Renaissance Journalism.