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Leland Hall

Leland Hall is a filmmaker and writer from Mobile, AL. He is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts where he received his M.F.A in Film and TV Production. He also received his B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Florida A & M University. While at USC, his short film “Driving Lesson,” was selected to numerous film festivals nationwide and showcased for USC’s Media Institute for Social Change. He has interned with NBCUniversal, Bad Robot and is currently an executive assistant at HBO in Original Programming.


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Off the Path of Self-Destruction (Excarceration 2)

On Saturday, June 1, 2019, Defy Ventures held an event called Business Coaching Day at the NationBuilder offices in downtown Los Angeles. As a nonprofit focused on reducing recidivism by supporting currently and formerly incarcerated men to become entrepreneurs, Defy puts on Business Coaching Days to give their participants, known as “Entrepreneurs-in-Training” (or EITs), an opportunity to learn from and be mentored by local executives. But their June event was unique: It was the first Business Coaching Day held outside prison and therefore primarily aimed to help EITs in transitional housing.There were roughly 10 EITs and about as many mentors,...

The Expungement

I’m sitting in Department 103 of the Criminal Courts Building, where Judge Curtis B. Rappe is presiding. After several hearings ranging from robbery to murder, a different kind of case is called to order. There’s a noticeable change in the courtroom when the defendant rises from behind me and approaches the table with his counsel. Almost every other defendant this morning has been an inmate wearing county-issued “blues,” handcuffed and escorted from behind heavy iron gates just outside of the courtroom. (The loud locking and unlocking of the bars is chilling.) But those days are long gone for the...