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An Inspiring Effort To Challenge Negative Stereotypes Associated WIth Probation



In an inspiring effort to challenge and dispel negative stereotypes associated with probation clients nationwide, accomplished filmmakers and editors, Jonathan Fisher and George Carrano, took a proactive approach. They distributed cameras to individuals within the probation system, including both clients and officers, marking the inception of their second “participatory photography” initiative. This groundbreaking endeavor has been brought to life in a captivating book and a PBS documentary titled “In A Whole New Way: Undoing Mass Incarceration By A Path Untraveled,” published by Prospecta Press in the summer of 2023.

This remarkable project sheds light on tools and opportunities for reshaping our perception of a system that encompassed an astounding four million individuals in the year 2020. Renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky, upon reviewing the book and film, shared his profound insights, stating, “The photographs truly open our eyes and warm our hearts. Once again, our commitment to social justice is enriched and expanded.”

Accompanied by evocative visuals, this artistic expression carries a resounding focus on diverting individuals from incarceration and unraveling the layers of a widely misunderstood yet remarkably effective alternative. Beyond its visual impact, Fisher and Carrano delve into the captivating history of probation, tracing its origins back to the 19th century.

Before embarking on the creation of “In A Whole New Way,” Fisher and Carrano pioneered participatory photography within New York’s project housing, an initiative they aptly named “Seeing For Ourselves.” Under this nonprofit umbrella, their earlier works, a book and documentary, were aptly titled “Project Lives.” These ventures collectively represent their unyielding commitment to fostering understanding and change through the lens of powerful imagery and storytelling.

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