Doin' Time Entertainment's “Inmates With Talent” Uses Comedy to Rehabilitate Felons

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Reality Film Featuring Ice-T Aims to Bring Laughter, Fix Souls, Save America Money

With more than two million people behind bars, the U.S. has the largest inmate population in the world. It costs “the land of the free” approximately $30,000 per inmate, or $60 billion in aggregate, annually.

Doin’ Time Entertainment hopes to reduce some of these costs to society and fix souls in the process.

Next month the company plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of completing its innovative reality/comedy film, “Inmates With Talent,” currently in post-production. The film, featuring Ice-T, is focused on helping felons live successful, crime-free lives once they are released from prison and return to our neighborhoods.

Doin’ Time Entertainment’s “Inmates With Talent,” which centers on a bold talent contest and zany comedic moments in prison, is just the start. Doin’ Time Entertainment plans to use its movie as a springboard to do good work in the community to help felons stay on the right path in life.

America will need it. In 2014 alone, approximately 600,000 inmates will be released from prison and back in the folds of society. Before the gates open and they are set free, how do we increase their chances of never again running afoul of the law and returning behind bars?

Doin’ Time Entertainment is using a creative approach to the recidivism problem. Its unconventional therapy gets inmates to open up about past sins, own up to wrongdoings and build confidence in their approach to individual goals and life as a whole. Its basis is that if you help felons break the patterns of the past, develop self-confidence, self-esteem and interpersonal skills, offering them a creative outlet to express what they may have been keeping bottled up inside, you’ve given them a tremendous leg up to succeed once released. This comedy/entertainment therapy can be used as an adjunct to the many drug or alcohol treatment, education or vocational training programs used in prison systems today.

At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding—the way the “Inmates With Talent” talent contest formula is perceived by the inmates themselves. One of them, Chad Jackson, perhaps says it best: “The contest had a profound effect upon my perception. Johnny’s visit reminded me of my worth as a creation of God, diminishing the despair that I may never be able to overcome my past and live a pro-social life, the desire of most inmates. His humanity is desperately needed in our prison systems. Thanks, Johnny, for remembering that punishment without restoration is often more dangerous than no punishment at all.”

In “Inmates With Talent” (, Comedians and co-creators Johnny Collins and Joel Jerome gain unprecedented access to Indiana’s Putnamville Correctional Facility to interact with the inmates in a comedic way —at times pushing the envelope—and, in the process, help turn the prisoners’ lives around. The duo organizes a contest that not only showcases many of the inmates’ hidden talents but also unites the entire prison population. Think “The Voice” meets “Last Comic Standing” in the environment of “Orange is the New Black.”

An inmate who participated, Lorenzo Reid shared, “I think ‘Inmates With Talent’ is needed all around the country. This will inspire these guys to do something other than go out and rob someone. And this show that Johnny, Joel and the fellas brought here… it brought a lot of hope and it inspired me to really put my craft to work.”

Doug Garrison, Chief Communications Officer, Indiana Department of Correction commented, “Part of the reason why I thought this was an important project was to bring something inside a prison that the offenders don’t see every day, that might help them get along better. If they can laugh together, then they might get along better. In terms of the movie, I screened the latest cut recently and really enjoyed it. It’s very funny yet dramatic at times and also has a great inspirational message. I hope audiences nationwide enjoy it as well.”

“America is the land of second chances,” Collins concluded. “If we can recycle paper bags, why can’t we recycle human souls? The old saying that, laugher is the best medicine,” certainly applies here.” We are using the stage and our comedic therapy to help felons who have committed to change. These inmates will be back in our neighborhoods. We want them back on the right path toward personal success and being productive for society instead of again becoming a liability to it. We look forward to launching our Kickstarter funding campaign next month which we hope will take our movie to the finish line in post-production and then it’s on to distribution.”

Visit… and @inmateswtalent.

Also, check out the official Inmates With Talent trailer at

About Doin’ Time Entertainment

Doin’ Time Entertainment is an American film and television production company focused on producing entertainment content in prison systems and other unique environments. The company has received approval to film in multiple prison systems around the country. Doin’ Time Entertainment aims to produce projects that are commercially viable and socially relevant. Its first project is the exciting unscripted comedy film “Inmates With Talent.”

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Johnny Collins

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