The Mayor of Graterford Film Screening

Caitlin McMahon Media Film Festival

THE MAYOR of GRATERFORD”
Documentary Film Screening & Panel
A discussion of prison reform and life without parole sentencing in PA

World Day of Social Justice – February 20, 2020 – 7pm
Congregation Ohev Shalom
2 Chester Rd, Wallingford, PA 19086

Sign up for the event here!

The documentary follows Tyrone Werts, a former Graterford prisoner nicknamed the “Mayor of Graterford” by other inmates at the facility, who was sentenced to life without parole in 1975 for second degree murder following a crime committed by his friend. During his time at Graterford, Tyrone received his GED, as well as a degree from Villanova University. He served more than 36 years with an impeccable prison record until his sentence was commuted in 2010.  Commutation is the only outlet through which prisoners serving a life sentence can argue their case in hopes of gaining their freedom.

PANEL:

Stephen McWilliams, PhD, MFA, is the Director of the Villanova University Social Justice Documentary Program and Producer of “The Mayor of Graterford.” 

Tyrone Werts, International Think Tank Coordinator of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program which helps newly freed inmates reintegrate into society.  Known as the “Mayor of Graterford” during his 36 years behind bars, he is the subject of the documentary.

John Pace, former juvenile lifer, was released after serving 30 years in prison for a crime committed when he was 17-years-old.  Pace now works alongside Werts with the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program and is Co-Founder of the Redemption Project.

Dr. Monica Taylor, Vice Chair, Delaware County Commission, was elected to County Council in November of 2019 and sworn in on January 6, 2020 to serve a four-year term. Dr. Taylor is a professor and program director in the Kinesiology department at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia. 

Jayne Thompson, Professor of English at Widener University, Director of Chester Community Writing Center and Author of “Letters to My Younger Self: An Anthology of Writings by Incarcerated Men at S.C.I. Graterford.” 

Giovanni Reid, Prison Reform Advocate, granted parole after being resentenced following his incarceration under a mandatory no-release sentence for a crimes committed as a minor.   

Kempis Songster, Co-Founderof the Redemption Project, which documents and shares the stories of men and women sentenced to death by incarceration in Pennsylvania. He started 28 years of incarceration at age 15.

Rabbi Jeremy Gerber, Senior Rabbi at Congregation Shalom and a founding member of FUSE, Fellowship of Urban and Suburban Engagement. He remains active on the FUSE Steering Committee and is an advocate for social justice.

Moderator, David Scheivert, Chair, The Media Film Festival