The Award-Winning Documentary Follows Van Jones and a Band of Unlikely Allies as They Work Across Party Lines to Pass Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform
MUNCIE, IN—Ahead of its nationwide theatrical release, Muncie will be one of 20 cities (and the only in Indiana) to early screen The First Step, a 90-minute documentary film that follows political commentator Van Jones and the bipartisan coalition who fought to pass landmark criminal justice reform in 2018 (The First Step Act), which has allowed more than 20,000 people to come home from federal prisons. The first screening opened in late-February in New York City and will conclude in May in Virginia.
Immediately following the Muncie screening on March 18th at Muncie Civic Theatre, The Facing Project co-founder and president, J.R. Jamison, will moderate an interactive local panel discussion on the themes of the film that include addiction, recovery, reentry, and criminal justice reform.
Local panelists will include:
- Jeff Hansard, Chief Probation Officer, Delaware County Probation;
- WaTasha Barnes Griffin, CEO, YWCA of Central Indiana;
- Dr. Ryan P. Brown, Medical Director of Addiction Services, IU Health East-Central Region;
- Kellie Arrowood, Community Member;
- Neil Kring, Pastor and Team Leader, Muncie Harm-Reduction;
- Sara Renee, Director of Muncie Folk and Team Leader, Muncie Harm-Reduction;
- Cory Matters, Social Worker, Clinical Therapist, and Certified Addiction Peer Recovery Coach;
- Dr. Jean Marie Place, Director of Community Research, Addictions Coalition of Delaware County;
- Ro Selvey, Muncie City Council;
- Jeff Stanley, Chief Deputy, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.
“The First Step film complements work and conversations that are already happening in Muncie and other areas of the state, but it encourages us to think deeper about how far we still have to go—especially when it comes to crossing party lines to create substantive reform,” Jamison said. “This event invites the public into this important conversation.”
In regard to local drug-related charges, Hansard added, “In Delaware County, 25% of the folks on probation have a low-level substance offense such as possession, and we have 1,200 folks on probation at any given time.”
Tickets for the screening are $10 and available online or at Muncie Civic Theatre’s box office.
There are a limited number of reserved seats for those who need financial assistance. Please contact J.R. Jamison (email@example.com) for details.
More about the film can be found at: https://www.firststepfilm.com/.
For other screenings and tickets outside of Muncie: https://www.firststepfilm.com/screenings.