Welcome to Warren is an uncensored and intimate examination of a contemporary American correctional institution, Warren Correctional Institution, in Southern Ohio.
The filmmakers, Brent E. Huffman and Ryan Stacy, had extraordinary access to achieve intimate and informal interviews with correction officers and inmates. The film subverts harmful stereotypes regarding prison inhabitants created in TV shows like Oz and movies like The Shawshank Redemption.
Welcome to Warren offers no easy answers and creates a context in which multiple points of view, inmates and guards, play off each other. Through their own words, guards and inmates describe how the correctional institution fails at its goal of rehabilitation. Like a perpetual revolving door, 95% of inmates that leave Warren Correctional Institution come right back.
Shortly after being released, inmates commit crimes similar if not identical to the ones that got them locked up in the first place. Promising developments like college degree programs and dog-training programs are cut after only months of implementation.
Welcome to Warren is an independent production completed in 2004 funded solely by the filmmakers. Consulting filmmakers include award-winning documentary makers Jim Klein- editor of the Sundance winner Scout’s Honor and Steven Bognar- award winning director of Personal Belongings and Gravel.
Welcome to Warren won a Special Mention from the Jury at the American Film Institute and the Discovery Channel’s 2004 SILVERDOCS Film Festival in Washington D.C.