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In Your Hands: Life after Prison

For ex-convicts, the road back into society is paved with good intentions. But a freed prisoner’s plans for the future can quickly go awry, and the local support system, if one exists, may be just as ineffectual. Do public services provide what a former inmate needs? Is the “system” a safety net or a trap, every bit as confining as prison? This film documents two case studies in which the end of incarceration means not only a fresh start but also a new phase of hardship, hard luck, and hard-won dignity. Jailed since her mid-20s and emerging with nothing but the clothes on her back, Kim is soon spending her nights on a park bench. Will she fare better or worse than Xavier, who has served 13 years for murder? Where does a young man with that kind of record find a decent job? By the end of the program viewers will be able to reach their own conclusions about the hidden and human costs of maintaining a “safe” society. Issues of race, poverty, and substance abuse are discussed. Contains profanity and mature subject matter. (59 minutes)

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New Start in Old Neighborhood
Northeast Washington D.C.is black, poor, and full of crime. Xavier has been released from prison after serving 13 years for manslaughter. He tells the story of being abandoned by his mother as a young child.