LESLIE NEALE
Executive Producer/Director

Leslie lends 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry, and her dedication to criminal justice reform to this film. She is an award-winning filmmaker, a mother and a child advocate. Through her advocacy work over the years, she discovered that the public was largely unaware, and therefore unconcerned, about issues within the juvenile justice arena. This realization, coupled with her concern over increasing negative media towards youth, compelled Leslie to undertake a socially active role through her films – to promote an understanding of, and instigate real change within the criminal justice system. Her first film, Road to Return, was narrated by Tim Robbins, and was about the successful return of ex-cons into society. Road to Return won several prestigious national awards and screened for the United States Congress, prompting a Senate Bill from the House Judiciary Committee to fund the aftercare program in six more states. Leslie then directed Rhythm of the Heart, for Wisdom Television and Winstar TV & Video, A Healing Presence, for the Medical Mission Sisters, a six-minute promotional piece for use by the warden of Ironwood State Prison on the graduating ceremonies of the Palo Verde College Class of 2003. Juvies, Leslie’s current documentary, came about as a result of volunteer teaching a video production class at Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall. She began this class after being invited to observe a writing program for high-risk juvenile offenders in 1999. Juvies is about juveniles being tried as adults, their lives within the system and the collapse of the American juvenile justice system.

 

JOHN DENSMORE
Executive Producer

John was also Executive Producer of Road to Return. As an original and founding member of the legendary musical group The Doors, John co-produced and wrote eight gold albums and toured the United States, Europe and Japan. He later wrote his autobiography Riders on the Storm, a NewYork Times bestseller, and was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Although John is very proud of these achievements, he now gains the most satisfaction in giving back to those who inspired him along the way. He has been a major supporter of Amnesty International. He has also been actively involved in the ecology movement for over 20 years. Recognizing that African-American musicians were his mentors, John set up a scholarship fund at UCLA for minority students. John is a father and is passionate about supporting change for the benefit of all the children of the world.

 

MARK WAHLBERG
Executive Producer / Narrator

Mark is one of Hollywood's biggest stars, having headlined three of the top-grossing films of the past few years: Three Kings, The Perfect Storm and Planet of the Apes, which earned almost $400 million worldwide. He's gotten there by consistently working with visionary and prestigious filmmakers such as David O. Russell, Wolfgang Petersen, Tim Burton and Paul Thomas Anderson. Mark’s breakout performance in Boogie Nights launched him into the public consciousness. His additional credits include The Italian Job, The Truth About Charlie, James Gray's The Yards, The Corruptor, The Big Hit, Traveller and Fear. Having been caught up in the juvenile justice system himself, Mark is giving back to his community through his two non-profit organizations, Music For The People, Inc. and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. He comes to Juvies as a passionate and dedicated supporter of change within the juvenile justice system.

 

MOS DEF
Poetry Narration

Mos Def is an artist at his most introspective and insightful, a leader of sorts, who seeks to create social justice and awareness through exploration and collaboration. This level of self-awareness is rarely achieved by a hip-hop generation too myopic to see beyond mere rhetoric, but some have broken through. Mos Def is one of such visionary - whose devotion to hip-hop culture and passion for social consciousness is one that has seldom been witnessed before in hip-hop history. The release of Universal Magnetic in 1996 catapulted Mos as an underground favorite. That same year would also see Mos’ soon-to-be legendary collaboration with Talib Kweli on Reflection Eternal’s “Fortified Live”. The two formed Black Star, whose debut Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are...Black Star would become one of the 1998’s most important and critically acclaimed hip-hop albums. In 1999, Mos Def released his first solo album, Black On Both Sides. The album spoke to a generation of music fans. Mos went on to build an acting career as well, appearing in films such as Bamboozled, Monster’s Ball, Showtime, Brown Sugar, and The Italian Job.