Susan Sobel, ARC Ally, InsideOUT Writers (IOW) teacher and second-year law student at Seattle University, created Closer to the Cuts to lift the voices of incarcerated youth and change the narrative around criminal justice reform.

In Susy’s own words, “Closer to the Cuts is a visual interpretation of a poem that was born from my experiences working as a poetry teacher inside the criminal justice system. I would never attempt to speak for my students, as I do not have their same lived experiences and would not be able to do their stories justice; this poem however, is what I’ve learned in the years I’ve spent in these spaces.”

The film’s director, music producer and cast are all formerly incarcerated young people and members of ARC, IOW and Street Poets.