Ex-Inmate Aaron Reason and Inmates Got Talent Host/Comedian Johnny Collins to Return to Prison to Inspire Inmates to Live Productive Lives

- Private screening of The Redemption Project: Inmates Got Talent for prisoners

Jun 24, 2010, 09:30 ET from Indiana Department of Correction from ,Doin' Time Entertainment LLC

INDIANAPOLIS and LOS ANGELES, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Doin' Time Entertainment LLC, in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC), announced today that former Putnamville Correctional inmate Aaron Reason and Inmates Got Talent Producer/Director/Host/Comedian Johnny Collins are scheduled to return to Putnamville Correctional, a medium security facility in Putnamville, Indiana, on Tuesday, June 29th to talk with the prisoners about living productive, crime-free lives.  The event is scheduled to be captured on film.

Aaron Reason, an inmate who participated in the newly completed documentary, The Redemption Project: Inmates Got Talent; was recently released from Putnamville Correctional and is now gainfully employed in Indiana for a well-known, national restaurant chain.  Moreover, he is a stand-out as one of the personalities and comedians in The Redemption Project: Inmates Got Talent.    

Johnny Collins commented, "It's difficult when you have a felony on your record, but Aaron is overcoming the obstacles.  In just a few months, Aaron has landed a job at a well-known national restaurant and has worked in several roles including dishwasher, waiter, bartender and now he's earned a position in the management training program.  I really admire his focus, work ethic and commitment to stay on the right path in life.  This is a great opportunity for Aaron to inspire his peers by returning with a message of hope."  

Aaron Reason remarked, "I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences out of prison with the guys and I hope it encourages them.  Now that I have established my basic needs following my release from prison, which include a job and a roof over my head, I can now hit the stage in my spare time and start pursuing my life-long dream of being a professional comedian."

The upcoming visit to Putnamville Correctional will also include a private screening of the Collins directed documentary, The Redemption Project: Inmates Got Talent, which was produced at Putnamville Correctional Facility.  In the unscripted film, comedians Johnny Collins and Joel Jerome interacted with offenders in a unique, dramatic and ultimately comedic fashion in an effort to help them turn over a new leaf so that they can become productive members of society.  In the process, Collins and Jerome ultimately organize a talent contest as a way to rehabilitate the prison's inmate population.  

The talent contest included performances by established comedians (Steve Wilson - Comedy Central Live at Gotham and D.L. Hughley Radio Show, Edwin San JuanShowtime Pacific Rim Comedy, comedian and former inmate Michael "Big Mike" Mitchell, comedians and co-creators Johnny Collins and Joel Jerome); as well as numerous inmates who want to pursue singing, comedy and acting as a way to live successful, crime-free lives.  Actor/rapper Ice-T contributes on-camera commentary and some voice-over.

Commissioner Edwin G. Buss of the Indiana Department of Correction commented, "The Redemption Project is a great example of the type of innovative programming that the IDOC strives to provide our offenders in helping them to return to society as productive citizens. It is important for the offenders to see a true success story such as Aaron's, to know that they too have a chance at a successful crime-free life once they step outside the walls of the correctional facility."

Producer/Director Johnny Collins commented, "Especially in these difficult economic times, as widening budget deficits force states to discharge inmates in unprecedented numbers, it's imperative that we have programs in place to prepare inmates to live successful, crime-free lives."  

Collins added, "Can entertainment be used to ease tensions in the prison system?  Can a project to find and develop talent in prison make a major difference in the lives of those looking for a second chance, and also lead to a safer America?  We address these themes in the film in very entertaining ways."

The U.S. Justice Department reports, 'If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated 1 of every 15 persons (6.6%) will serve time in a prison during their lifetime.'  

To view and download b-roll footage and photos from The Redemption Project: Inmates Got Talent, which can be used by media and journalists in developing their news stories visit  http://www.inmatesgottalent.com/mediakit/

A portion of the net proceeds generated from the sale of The Redemption Project:  Inmates Got Talent merchandise will be donated to the Indiana Department of Correction for its rehabilitation programs and to the United Way of Central Indiana's Youth as Resources program, which involves youth as problem solvers in the community, helping them avoid making bad choices that could lead to a life of crime.

Visit our website at www.inmatesgottalent.com.

SOURCE Indiana Department of Correction; Doin' Time Entertainment LLC