In 2012, California voters approved Proposition 36, effectively repealing the state's notoriously harsh three-strikes law that had sentenced thousands of nonviolent offenders to a lifetime behind bars. But what does it mean to be released from prison after being sentenced to life? How does one begin to reintegrate into society? The Return depicts the struggles of two newly released former lifers as they deal with restoring relationships, avoiding personal triggers, finding meaningful employment, and managing the mental health problems which had previously contributed to their imprisonment.
Directors Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega (Better This World) have created another searing and poignant character study that points to systemic problems with the American justice system. The Return puts a profoundly human face on the massive statistics of imprisoned people in the US.
Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega are documentary directors, producers and screenwriters whose work explores the intersections of institutional power, civil and human rights and political activism. Their work has received the WGA's Best Documentary Screenplay Award, Independent Documentary Association’s Creative Achievement Award, Gotham Independent Film’s Best Documentary Award and 7 National Emmy nominations.