Incarceration is more than a familiar topic in the black community everyone knows someone that knows someone that is or was behind bars. Watching the first episode of Released instantly connects you to each of the individuals and you are emotionally invested in their journey. Mainly because you understand and possibly have your own family members being released or knows someone who knows someone being released. I teared up a couple times because I’ve had a family member incarcerated and honestly the narratives are so raw. You can feel the excitement, the hurt, and pain from the family members. No matter what the viewers will be able find someone to identify with. Showing the audience what the family is going thru and how it is affecting them is part of the process that we rarely see in mainstream media.
I am hoping that as people watch these story lines that it sheds a brighter light on how unjust the system is when it comes to these sentences. Being sentenced for 19 years for stealing $150 worth children’s clothing is mind-blowing. It’s hard not to have empathy for these people once you are emotionally invested. It also forces you to raise quite a few questions about the system and how it is pathetically flawed, clearly designed for former inmates to give up or return to prison. RELEASED is for everyone I encourage you all to make genuine efforts to watch this series. Even those not affected by someone in prison help keep the good kids on track show them this is what happens when you think your actions don’t affect other people. I am very interested in seeing how Kevin, Kay, and Jermaine adjust to life after prison. Showing how the their support system supports them will be good to see as well. Sometimes I think people don’t know how to support so maybe this well be helpful to see what how to be there for your loved ones returning home for prison. I am looking forward to each story and the great discussion topics this series will bring. Thank you OWN Network and Shaka Senghor.