From Prison To Home: Five Lives Converge On A Farm In NC

Apr 30, 2019

Benevolent Farm is currently housing its first class of women. The maximum a woman can stay is two years. Keia and Brooke are both featured in the documentary.
Credit Joanne Hershfield

Once criminals have served their time, they are released and expected to return to being productive members of society. But what resources are in place to help them do so? The documentary “Benevolence: A Journey From Prison To Home ” follows five women as they try to reintegrate into society while working on a farm in Alamance County.

Benevolence Farm is the brainchild of former social worker Tanya Jisa who wanted to create a safe space where women recently released from prison could work, live, reintegrate into society and receive the therapeutic benefits of farming and gardening. This dream needed land, money and people to believe it in. Filmmaker Joanne Hershfield was an early believer in the dream and chronicles the first class of women who entered the program. Their stories range from first time offenders to career offenders, but what they have in common is none had a supportive home to return to after leaving incarceration. This farm was to be their home for up to two years, where they would work the land and hopefully heal the wounds of the past. Hershfield joins host Frank Stasio to shars the process of documenting the journey from prison to home. “Benevolence” screens at the 2019 Longleaf Film Festival on Saturday, May 11. The screening will take place at North Carolina Museum of History in downtown Raleigh from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.