Released to Life



Ann GoodArnold YoungR Dwayne BettsDevon BrownEric WeaverKevin ChaseJoseph CrouchJennifer Alvarado

RELEASED TO LIFE was selected as "Washington's Best Film" in a competition held by SnagFilms and the D.C. Office of Television and Motion Picture Development.  The award was announced at a ceremony on January 30th, 2012 at George Washington University. Congratulations to the filmmakers.

It is estimated in the United States that one in every 31 adults are currently incarcerated, on probation, or on parole.  This is the highest rate of involvement in the criminal justice system in the world.  These figures have risen exponentially since the 1980s, due to the increased incarceration of non-violent drug offenders.  While more than 70% of this population reside in the civilian community, two-thirds of prisoners released will be re-arrested and more than half will return to prison within three years of their release.  The high rate of recidivism is tied to many factors including mental and physical health disparities, substance abuse, access to affordable housing and homelessness, access to education and employment, and the breakdown of family and community support. These factors were exacerbated in Washington D.C. during the 1980s and 1990s because of the city?s lack of regional revenue to fund re-entry programs. In reaction to these conditions, The Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), a federal agency was established in Washington D.C. in 1997 to assist ex-offenders and increase the likelihood of their successful reintegration into society. Today the Washington DC Metropolitan Area still faces high recidivism rates as programs intended to aid re-entry into the system have been progressively cut.

In 2008 the federal government introduced legislation to try and reverse this troubling trend of recidivism by passing the ?Second Chance Act?, which authorized federal grants to agencies aimed at reducing recidivism.  This legislation offers a step toward reducing prison populations and increasing the odds for successful re-entry, yet it is currently at risk of not being re-authorized.  Despite ongoing efforts by criminal justice groups aimed to increase funding of re-entry programs, greater emphasis needs to be placed on reentry programs within correctional facilities themselves.

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Nanking - Narrated
Nanking - Narrated
2007 | 90mins
A powerful, emotional and relevant reminder of the heartbreaking toll war takes on the innocent, this award-winning documentary tells the story of the Japanese invasion of Nanking, China, in the early days of World War II. As part of a campaign to conquer all of China, the Japanese subjected Nanking?which was then China's capital?to months of aerial bombardment, and when the city fell, the Japanese army unleashed murder and rape on a horrifying scale. In the midst of the rampage, a small group of Westerners banded together to establish a Safety Zone where over 200,000 Chinese found refuge. Unarmed, these missionaries, university professors, doctors and businessmen?including a Nazi named John Rabe?bore witness to the events, while risking their own lives to protect civilians from slaughter. The story is told through deeply moving interviews with Chinese survivors, chilling archival footage and photos, testimonies of former Japanese soldiers?and a staged reading of the Westerners' letters and diaries by Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemingway, Jurgen Prochnow and others. NANKING is a testament to the courage and conviction of individuals who were determined to act in the face of evil and a powerful tribute to the resilience of the Chinese people?a gripping account of light in the darkest of times. This version of the film features descriptive narration for the blind and visually impaired, created by the Narrative Television Network.
Nanking - Narrated