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9|A SENTENCE APART | Discussion Guide | BEFORE THE FILM DIRECTIONS: The facilitator can start this activity before showing the film A Sentence Apart. First ask participants to share common media portrayals of men and women in prison. These could be television shows, films, songs, or stories they heard on the news. What do they see in these portrayals? What stereotypes do they perpetuate? Explain that each person will receive three strips of paper and three prompts. Ask them to copy the prompt after they read it, and finish the sentence based on their opinions. Explain that there is no right or wrong answer, but that this activity is meant to act as a barometer in the room, to get a sense of the differing experiences and thoughts about incarceration. There are a number of factors that may affect our opinions about incarceration including the media and our own personal experiences. We also may have assumptions about who a person behind bars is, and why they are there. Responses can remain anonymous, or participants may choose to write their name. Remind participants to support their opinions, why did they give that response? (continued on next page) SAMPLE OPENING ACTIVITY 1: “I” STATEMENTS” ACTIVITYACTIVITY Goals: • To acknowledge and discuss assumptions about incarceration • To create an open forum for thinking critically about what has informed our opinions, why do we believe what we believe? • To educate participants about how incarceration affects families and begin to unpack the intersections of race, class, gender, and education. Materials: • A basket or bucket to collect anonymous responses • Strips of paper (3 per participant) Time: 20 minutes This activity is designed to acknowledge the assumptions and opinions participants already have about incarceration- positive, negative, or mixed. Participants can choose to keep their responses anonymous.