[Search Again] [Home]
LIFE SENTENCE: A Film by Lisa Gray
"A truly beautiful evocation of the tragedy of lifetime parole."
Susan Mareneck, Acting Director, ICARE
In a punitive federal system where sentencing rules and release policies are growing increasingly tough, recent statistics indicate that one in one hundred Americans is currently incarcerated.
LIFE SENTENCE gives voice to six formerly incarcerated men and women, some of whom were sentenced as adolescents. Each spent between twelve and twenty-six years in prison, and must now find a way, economically and emotionally, to rebuild life on the outside.
The film begins as each prisoner prepares for his or her first parole board hearing. Each is denied, forced to wait two more years. Interviewees discuss their reasons for incarceration, the experience in prison, and the emotions connected to receiving such a harsh sentence. They discuss the importance of educational opportunities, including one that enabled each to complete advanced degrees before Congress abolished federal financing for these programs in 1994.
Now released, the film follows these long-termers as they work to make a contribution to society, all of them working with other formerly incarcerated people. The film, which also includes discussion from scholars, advocates, and policymakers, showcases the importance of acknowledging all individuals’ potential to contribute, regardless of their personal history.