David Arquette used to be a believer in capital punishment for criminals. But over time he’s found it to be a failed model that doesn’t help anything in our prison and justice system.
Arquette is the producer of “Survivor’s Guide to Prison,” a documentary by Matthew Cooke designed to teach you if you ever find yourself in prison, how to get a great lawyer, how to make bail, and most of all, how to reform and never return.
“What doesn’t work is this punishment model. They’ve proven it doesn’t work in raising your kids and it doesn’t work in our prison systems,” Arquette told TheWrap. “Prisoners most of the time are getting better at being criminals. What we really want are people not to go back in.”
The film tells the story of Bruce Lisker and Reggie Cole, two people wrongly convicted of murder. It also cites the Anti-Recidivism Coalition in saying that more than three quarters of prisoners end up returning to prison.
Cooke worked on the film for five years, but Arquette said it really came together when they got none other than Danny Trejo to read the film’s tagline: “This is the survivor’s guide to prison.”
“Whoever said that line has to at least have been to prison,” Arquette said. “He’s an incredible example of someone who has turned his life around. It was close to his heart, and he wanted to do something. He’s a really great person.”
“Survivor’s Guide to Prison” opens Feb. 23 in theaters and on demand.
Watch TheWrap interview Arquette in the video above.