Time: The Kalief Browder Story
Spike TV, The Cinemart, Roc Nation
Watching Spike TV’s six-hour miniseries on the life and death of Kalief Browder, viewers see every major problem in America’s criminal justice system wrapped up in one horrific case. Arrested at age 16 and accused of stealing a backpack, Browder found his attempt at paying bail thwarted and his court date continually delayed. An African-American native of the Bronx, Browder eventually served three years in New York’s infamous Rikers Island jail—two of them in solitary confinement—without being convicted of a crime. The miniseries, executive produced by rapper Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, highlights the problems with poor defendants, often black and brown, serving jail sentences because they can’t make bail, suffering in terrible prison conditions where inmate gangs and guards rule with brutal depravity. Once inside, Browder fought to survive while prosecutors pressured for a guilty plea to speed a broken process. Interviews with inmates, prison guards, relatives, experts and Browder himself create a damning picture of a system that failed him, time and again. Such first person accounts, archival footage, and reenactments from Browder’s life weave together a definitive narrative that has become a symbolic touchstone for criminal justice activism and reform across the country. Once he was eventually released, Browder faced the challenge of coping with the fallout from his trauma; a struggle that ended when he took his own life in 2015. For creating an evocative, chilling, and revelatory exposé embodied by the tragic story of one person, “Time: The Kalief Browder Story” wins a Peabody Award.
PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS
Executive Producers: Jenner Furst, Julia Willoughby Nason, Michael Gasparro, Nick Sandow, Chachi Senior, Sharon Levy, Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter. Director: Jenner Furst. Writers: Jenner Furst, Mark Konkol, Rose Schlossberg. Directors of Photography: James Adolphus, Dan Levin, Jake Cohen. Original Music Composers: Danielle Furst, Khari Mateen.