Criminal Justice System (04:57)
The federal prison population in the United States has increased 700% since 1980. An Obama Administration policy was created to decrease the population and focus on returning inmates to their communities.
Nonviolent Drug Crimes (02:07)
Robert Bruce, Jr. recently returned to his Washington, D.C. neighborhood after serving 21 years in prison. He was one of 6,000 federal prisoners granted early release under Obama's new policy.
Staying out of Prison (05:53)
Reggie Spriggs and Louis Bennett are 65-years-old and have spent more than 35 years incarcerated. The difficulty of finding a job with a record led Spriggs to return to prison many times. Lamont Carey uses writing and spoken poetry to keep himself out of trouble.
Returning Citizen Affairs (03:10)
Charles Thornton is the organization's director. When released from prison in 1988, his first considered returning to dealing drugs. Most of the employees have been previously incarcerated so they can better connect with the people they help.
Representing D.C. (03:39)
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton understands how failures of the criminal justice system contribute to high recidivism. Thornton and his office provide services to each person they think will have the greatest benefit.
Family Support (02:33)
Spriggs works multiple jobs to stay busy. He spends his downtime with his mother, one of his few remaining relatives. His mother traveled long distances to visit him in different prisons.
Reentry for Women (04:06)
An organization in D.C. focuses on women who face different challenges than men. Most have children and find it difficult to reconnect and provide care.
Mental Health in Prison (04:46)
Spriggs went to numerous prisons, including ones with the Aryan Brotherhood. Many of his friends were killed or will never be released from prison. A behavior health specialist helps returning citizens deal with trauma they experienced in prison.
Path to Prison (08:48)
Robert believes his environment led to his incarceration. Many people grow-up believing prison is a likelihood. Community activists work to change negative behavior within the community.
Readjusting to Society (06:14)
For many people in the community, there is a misunderstanding about the difficulties of readjusting to society. Having access to support and services helps decrease recidivism. A group for formerly incarcerated women provides mentoring for newly released women.
Problems in the Community (09:27)
The high rates of poverty and violence have led to crime and mass incarceration becoming normalized. Community activists work to find solutions to mass incarceration. Returning citizens are encouraged to vote.
Credits: Returning Citizens (02:40)
Credits: Returning Citizens
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