Prisoner rehabilitation through comedy

Jory Rand Image
Friday, September 12, 2014
Prisoner rehabilitation through comedy
A filmmaker and comedian team up to break through to prisoners with the art of comedy.

Filmmaker Johnny Collins originally wanted to perform stand-up comedy in prison just to see if he could. But that idea quickly turned into a film about prisoner rehabilitation through comedy.

It's "'Last Comic Standing' meets 'The Voice' in the world of 'Orange is the New Black,' but it has a great societal impact element as well," Collins said.

Collins hopes his program lends a creative approach to setting inmates on the right path.

Comedian Big Mike Mitchell, who was born and raised in South Los Angeles, is also involved in the project.

Collins said Mitchell was actually the inspiration. Mitchell spent time in prison before turning to comedy.

"Doing 10, 15 years, there's no light at the end of the tunnel. What Johnny provided with the movie was a light at the end of the tunnel," Mitchell said.

In October, Collins is planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund the rest of his film. He also hopes to bring his program to prisons in California.