Documentary about ex-offenders re-entering society

According to the United States Department of Justice, more than 650,000 ex-offenders are released from prison every year, and some filmmakers got together and shot a documentary about what happens when those ex-offenders go home. Eric Day from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and John Eads from Light of the Village tell Cherish Lombard folks in Mobile are invited to preview the documentary Monday, March 10. It’s called “The Pull of Gravity,” and you can see it from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Mobile Civic Center.

It’s part of Project H.O.P.E., Helping Offenders Pursue Excellence, a re-entry council established by
U.S. Attorney Kenyen R. Brown. The documentary film’s producer is El Sawyer, who is also an ex-offender. U.S. Attorney Brown says, “The documentary is gritty and contains some language that is inappropriate for children, but it accurately captures peoples’ real experiences as they try to return to the community after a term of incarceration.”

Once the screening has finished, a panel of employers and service providers who are engaged in re-entry efforts in our area will take the stage in order to discuss their re-entry efforts. Community service providers will also be set up in the Mobile Civic Center lobby to answer any questions you may have after the film. This will be a great opportunity to find out about volunteer opportunities and directly connect with free or reduced fee services available in our area.

The purpose of the event is to spark the re-entry conversation locally in hopes of addressing our crime problem at its root by identifying areas where community involvement can arrest systemic impediments to ex-offenders successfully reintegrating back into society. These impediments include ex-offenders’ lack of knowledge about what free or reduced fee services are available in the community to assist them, ex-offenders’ educational and employment needs and a wary business community.

U.S. Attorney Brown said, “These traditional impediments to successful re-entry have led to a high recidivism rate where new victims are created because ex-offenders have forfeited any hope of successful reintegration. Given the high demand for skilled vocational laborers in this region, ex-offenders, if properly trained in both soft skills and vocational skills, can be a reliable labor pool for our robust maritime and airline industries while at the same time reducing our local crime rate and reducing prison costs for the State.”

You can visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/als/rei.html for more information.

Mobile Civic Center
401 Civic Center Dr
Mobile, AL 36602

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