Common is bringing a new documentary series to Discovery+ that will explore the harsh realities of the U.S. criminal justice system.
“One of the greatest problems with the justice system is its dehumanization of people. But we have the ability to change that. My hope is this documentary brings visibility and change to the criminal justice system in the most humane way,” Common said Monday in a statement.
OWN will oversee production for Discovery+ of the project titled Justice, USA.
“We knew from the start that Justice, USA is a series that must be made and brought to viewers,” added OWN President Tina Perry.
Justice, USA aims to give viewers a comprehensive 360-degree view of the criminal justice system through interviews, access to public defenders, district attorneys, jails, and the courts in Nashville.
Emmy award-winning executive producer Mike Tollin (The Last Dance), Michigan Law School adjunct professor Marshall Goldberg, and Think Common Entertainment’s Tamara Brown all join Common as executive producers of the series. Randy Ferrell will serves as showrunner.
“Everyone talks about criminal justice reform, but so few of us really know what goes on in the justice system,” said Tollin. “We never see the behind-the-scenes realities of a system where the average public defender handles 500 felonies a year, where district attorneys determine the fate of defendants far more than do judges or juries, and where excessive bail often destroys lives and families.”
Added Goldberg: “To do this series right, we needed unprecedented access to public defenders, district attorneys, jails, and the courts… We found that in Nashville. Without any restrictions, the first season of Justice, USA will look at a system that historically has brutalized defendants, especially indigent defendants.”
The series is produced by MSM and is slated to premiere next year on Discovery+. Justice, USA is slated to premiere in 2022 on Discovery+.