*The United States has approximately 2.3 million people in correctional facilities across the nation (Prison Policy Initiative) – more than any other country in the world. The first 90 days of being released are crucial for those who have been incarcerated – as they often face many challenges and few resources – and nearly 40% of formerly incarcerated men and women re-offend within the first six months, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
This month, OWN launched “Released,” an eight-episode docu-series featuring first-person narratives of formerly incarcerated men and women as they walk out of prison for the first time and restart their lives.
This week’s episodes spotlights, Kay Williams, an older woman ten days out of jail and unaware she is on probation, until an officer knocks on her sister front door for a home inspection.
“The series depicts OWN’s intention of telling personal and real stories affecting our everyday lives,” said executive producer and EVP of programming for OWN, Jon Sinclair. “The heartfelt narratives will expose the effects of mass incarceration not only on the individuals, but also the impact on the entire family unit and the unique challenges re-entering society can bring.”
Through a diary-like lens, “Released” presents autobiographical portraits of formerly incarcerated individuals during their first 90 days out of prison, as each attempts to reconnect with their loved ones, establish their independence and begin the long, hard work of resurrecting their abandoned lives.
Stories of incarceration are truly family stories, and although only one member serves the time, “Released” takes a closer look at everyone whose lives are affected – husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters – in order to fully understand the current crisis. For each family, there will be conflict and struggle, but there will also be hope and joy, as they look toward true freedom.
The series airs on Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.