Trauma, redemption and forgiveness at heart of documentary

Trauma, redemption and forgiveness at heart of documentary

Detail from poster for the KIPCOR Film Series film The Prison Within

The KIPCOR Film Series returns Sunday, Sept. 12, with this year’s screenings taking place live on the Bethel College campus after a virtual series in 2020-21.

KIPCOR, the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Bethel College, sponsors four films each school year.

The first offering in the 202-22 series is The Prison Within, a film by Katherin Hervey, screening Sept. 12 at 2 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.

An audience discussion follows with Hervey, the film’s director, producer and writer, and Leonard Rubio, executive director of Insight Prison Project, which has as its core program the Restorative Justice (RJ) initiative depicted in The Prison Within.

After the showing of the 86-minute documentary, Hervey and Rubio will appear live via Zoom for the post-film discussion.

San Quentin Prison in California is the unlikely setting for this award-winning documentary about a journey of redemption and forgiveness.

The Prison Within follows the stories of survivors of violent crimes, and individuals incarcerated for murder, who have chosen to participate in San Quentin’s Victim-Offender Education Group (VOEG).

This innovative RJ program aims to uncover and start to heal the roots of untreated trauma in both perpetrators and victims of violent crime.

“There are obvious tie-ins with all of the RJ work we do here at KIPCOR, as well as the ongoing efforts in society to reform our criminal justice system,” said Dan Wassink, KIPCOR senior mediator and facilitator who coordinates the KIPCOR Film Series.

After making the rounds of festivals nationwide and internationally in 2020, The Prison Within garnered several top awards – the Social Justice Award for Documentary Film at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature from the Coronado Island Film Festival, and the Audience Award at the Franklin International Indie Film Festival.

The KIPCOR Film Series is free and open to the public. A freewill offering will be taken to support the series and the work of KIPCOR.

Bethel College COVID protocols require mask-wearing in groups of 10 or more, regardless of vaccination status, and physical distancing to the extent possible.

To see a trailer for The Prison Within, go to

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #14 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges” and #26 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest, and earned its third-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Gold Award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2020-21; is’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; has the #10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas according to; and is #57 among 829 U.S. colleges and universities named by as “Best for Financial Aid,” as well as #23 among “Safest College Towns in the U.S.,” ranked by for 2020-21. For more information, see