Released to Life

Released to Life
16:08 | 2011

Categories: Politics, Shorts

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.


Reviews: A- 5 Fans
· A · · B · · C · · D · F
Grade This Film
Your Grade: Not Graded
Click to Regrade


Adirimo Jones
September 3, 2013
August 15, 2012
Thanks to all who have seen the movie and given us positive feedback! We encourage you to share this movie with others and if you work in the reentry community, feel free to use our film as an educational tool.
Jeffrey Jaworski
February 15, 2012
All of this is true, My Brother was released last june and has been Living with me and my wife since then. I am trying to support and encourage him and he is about to complete the course to get his CDL B license, he has been submitting applications since june and has had NO success. He has Participated in the rentry program and has had courses on being interviewed, he has had his art work Displayed in the City Hall here and sold a Number of them. I would like to continue to have him here but this cant go on for much more time, My house is small and with the seeming Hoplessness of him getting a Job is placing strains on all of us.
Karen Vander Molen
February 14, 2012
Compelling look at the reality of reentry issues - every citizen should become aware of this film! Well done.
Sylvia Gibbs
February 10, 2012
Wonderful film I facilitate a reentry class at a prison and the guys are within 6 mos to release and they really need to see this film.
Tonya DaBadizz Valentine
February 10, 2012
This hit home....My son at the age of 16 was sentenced to 41 years for acts that he didn't commit. What hurt the most is that if the crimes were committed in a black neighborhood he would probably be home, but because the victims were white....they thru the book at him....his 1st offense....I am now a advocate for Prisoner's Right....Thanx for sharing E, and I pray that God continue to use you to help others! Great Job!
Scott Wayne
February 4, 2012
Great kudos to the GWU student filmmakers who produced this documentary -- well done. Am looking forward to your next films!
Cinnamon McCann
February 1, 2012
So proud of you Eric!
Premila Raj
February 1, 2012
This is great Eric!-glad you are shining light on this topic. Congrats!