OMAHA – One of prison’s most-ignored, but fastest-rising populations is the focus of a special photo essay event being held at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) campus on Wednesday, Oct. 29.
For the past decade, photographer Ron Levine has chronicled the stories of prisoners over the age of 50 through photographs and storytelling for his project, “Prisoners of Age,” which he will present at the UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service Collaborating Commons on Oct. 29 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, prisoners over the age of 50 have nearly doubled over the past 20 years, making them one of the fastest growing prison populations in the country.
With the issue of prison overcrowding at the forefront of many states in recent years, Levine’s insight provides important information for lawmakers both current and those who may become so in the future.
The event, which is hosted by the UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service, will feature photos and stories from Levine’s time with prisoners of age across the U.S. and Canada.
“One of the best ways to learn about an issue is to go outside a textbook and witness how it affects specific groups of people,” says CPACS Dean John Bartle, Ph.D. “Mr. Levine’s remarkable photographs and interviews have been able to put a human face on the subject of North America’s aging prison population.”
Levine began photographing and interviewing older inmates and corrections personnel in the United States and Canada in 1996. The work resulted in an exhibit and 208-page companion book titled, “Prisoners of Age.”
The first exhibit took place on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco in 2000. Originally intended to last several weeks, it was held over for six months and was seen by more than a million visitors.
The exhibit has since traveled to many other major cities and is scheduled, in a much larger format, to return to Alcatraz in 2015.
“Prisoners of Age” has earned praise from the Los Angeles Times, BBC, Montreal Gazette, San Francisco Chronicle and more. A documentary from Levine utilizing his photos and stories has also won several awards at film festivals across the country.
For more information on the “Prisoners of Age” project, visit www.prisonersofage.com.
For media inquiries, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.