Returning Citizens

Watch Returning Citizens

  • NR
  • 2017
  • 1 hr 8 min
  • 7.5  (35)

Returning Citizens is a documentary film that explores the challenges faced by former prisoners as they attempt to reintegrate back into society after their release from prison. The film is directed by Saffron Cassaday and released in 2017. The film portrays Demetrius, Roach Brown, and Evelyn, all of whom are facing difficulties adjusting back to life outside of prison. Demetrius, a father of four, is struggling to find employment despite his qualifications and experience. Roach Brown, a former Black Panther and youth mentor, is trying to rebuild his relationship with his family after forty years of incarceration. Finally, Evelyn is facing the challenge of not only trying to reintegrate into her community but also reestablishing her relationship with her daughter.

The movie delves into the root causes of these struggles, such as institutional discrimination, lack of resources, and limited emotional support. The Returning Citizens film highlights various policies and programs aimed at assisting released inmates to become reintegrated back into society successfully. One program featured is the Welcome Home Re-Entry Program, which connects returning citizens with community resources such as legal and employment assistance.

The film is also seasoned with appearances by renowned personalities aimed to address their previous roles in the criminal justice system. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, a former federal prosecutor, explains how mandatory minimum sentencing laws have tainted justice in the United States. On the other hand, Tyrone Parker, Executive Director of the Alliance of Concerned Men, gives insights into how structural violence has still been a problem in Washington, DC, the film's central location.

The Returning Citizens film also talks about the benefits of psychological therapy and counseling and how it can help former inmates to process and let go of their traumatic experiences in prison. The film highlights organizations such as the Loyola University Community Law Clinic, where returning citizens can receive legal assistance and therapeutic resources, and the Free Minds Book Club, where they can participate in a book club and writing workshops that serve as outlets for creative expression.

Throughout the documentary, the Returning Citizens film emphasizes the importance of breaking down societal stereotypes of formerly incarcerated individuals. Many have limited opportunities due to society's prejudices based on their past mistakes, despite their desire to reintegrate and live a productive life. The daily tribulations portrayed in the film reflect the despondency, hopelessness, and seemingly unending frustration that come with re-entry.

The final portions of the film are hopeful, as the documentary's subjects slowly begin to conquer their internal demons and get a second chance to rebuild their lives. The Returning Citizens film shows these individuals working hard to create opportunities for themselves by finding employment or starting their businesses, navigating the legal system to change policies that contribute to the cycle of recidivism, and rebuilding relationships with loved ones.

In conclusion, the Returning Citizens movie is an insightful, thought-provoking, and at times, heart-breaking film that provides an overview of the issues and challenges that former prisoners face after being released. It is a poignant and relevant work that highlights the importance of providing resources and support that are necessary to assist these individuals in reintegrating into society successfully. The story of the film is relatable and reflects on the very present problem seen a lot in America and many parts of the world.

Returning Citizens is a 2017 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 8 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5.

Where to Watch Returning Citizens
Returning Citizens is available to watch free on Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Vudu Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Returning Citizens for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 8 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (35)