PBS’ POV independent documentary series will open its 29th season on Monday, May 23, 2016 on PBS with the national broadcast premiere of Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway’s "The Return," it was announced by POV Executive Producers Justine Nagan and Chris White.
In 2012, California amended its “Three Strikes” law – one of the harshest criminal sentencing policies in the country. The passage of Proposition 36 marked the first time in U.S. history that citizens voted to shorten sentences of those currently incarcerated. Within days, the reintegration of thousands of “lifers” was underway. The Return examines this unprecedented reform through the eyes of those on the front lines – prisoners suddenly freed, families turned upside down, reentry providers helping navigate complex transitions and attorneys and judges wrestling with an untested law. At a moment of reckoning on mass incarceration, what can California’s experiment teach the nation?
"The Return" will have its world premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, April 17.
“While U.S. issues of criminal justice and incarceration are top of mind, especially during an election season, this is a rare story about nonviolent offenders who have unexpectedly been let out of prison,” said POV’s Nagan. “How do they reestablish relationships and find their way in a society that has significantly changed in the years they’ve lost? By focusing on two former lifers in The Return, Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway have created a compassionate, honest portrait of Americans on the margins fighting to get back into the mainstream.”
POV, winner of a 2013 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on PBS from May to November, with primetime specials during the year. (Check local listings.) POV will announce its full lineup in the coming weeks.
POV has previously broadcast films by Duane de la Vega and Galloway: the team’s Emmy-nominated "Better This World" in 2011 and "Prison Town, USA" (by Galloway and Po Kutchins) in 2007.
"The Return" is a co-production of Loteria Films, American Documentary | POV and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in association with Chicken and Egg Pictures.