FAMM organizes families nationwide to host Watch Parties of HBO's "The Sentence” - FAMM


FAMM organizes families nationwide to host Watch Parties of HBO’s “The Sentence”

Categories: Blog, Featured, Newsroom, Press Release

Monday, Oct. 15, 2018

Rabiah Burks, 202-822-6700

Families of prisoners now have a tool to show what they endure.

WASHINGTON – The criminal justice reform advocacy group FAMM has organized affected families, former prisoners, other advocates, and law students and professors to host watch parties of “The Sentence,” an award-winning new documentary about the impact of mandatory minimum sentencing on a Michigan family. FAMM’s Watch Party Week will run October 15-21. The movie premieres tonight at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CT on HBO.

“This movie is a powerful depiction of the plight of so many families across the country. Families are using ‘The Sentence’ to educate their friends, neighbors, and the public about the devastating consequences of mandatory minimum sentencing on American families,” said FAMM President Kevin Ring.

“The Sentence” won the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. The documentary tells the story of Cindy Shank, who received a 15-year mandatory sentence for drug conspiracy charges. Cindy’s brother, filmmaker Rudy Valdez, coped with his frustration and sadness by filming his family’s life as the years passed, both the everyday details and the milestones. The family’s fight for Cindy’s release is at the core of this deeply personal portrait of a family in crisis.

FAMM’s Watch Party Week provides families with a meaningful opportunity to show their family members, neighbors, colleagues, and friends how the criminal justice system affects real people. With HBO, FAMM has hosted advance screenings across the country and the response has been profound.

***** For additional information or to arrange an interview with Kevin Ring, contact Rabiah Burks at rburks@famm.org *****

For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies in six states and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94 percent of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.


FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.

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