(KTXL) — With high school seniors graduating and many young adults on their own for the very first time, the founder of a local nonprofit that helps victims of police misconduct has worked on a short “Survivor’s Guide to Prison” documentary.
“You need to know how to handle an out-of-control police officer, how to survive an interrogation, how to survive county jail,” the documentary tells viewers.
Two years after its debut, Christopher Kershner, the founder of Police Crime Victims, took the two-hour long documentary and condensed it into 20 minutes — 20 minutes of information he believes can be life-saving.
“That could be digested by a 17-year-old graduating senior,” Kershner said. “We basically released it during the week of graduating seniors.”
Police Crime Victims, which provides legal counseling and resources to victims of police misconduct, got the approval from the Survivor’s Guide producers and focused on the documentary’s key parts: contact with police and how to interact with them.
“If you’re arrested, never talk to anybody without an attorney there,” the documentary advises.
“Just getting it in front of as many people as possible over this month and the next year, to have it picked up by high schools in the coming school year. And with a grand goal, as part of the high school curriculum for the entire country,” Kershner said.
Kershner says he is working with the Placer Union High School District board on getting the documentary distributed.
Although he says he has not received feedback from law enforcement yet, he is hoping that they will also see the value in getting the newly edited version of the Survivor’s Guide out to high schoolers.
Community activist and EMPACT founder Leia Schenk says the video is something children need to know, especially with the rate of teenage seniors who are driving, getting jobs and maneuvering through the community.
“They need to know how to act when they’re accosted by the police … They need to know what to say, what not to say, how to act and what their rights are, which is the most important part,” Schenk said.