Returning Citizens:
Life Beyond Incarceration
In this docuseries, Georgetown Law Professor and MSNBC Contributor, Paul Butler, hosts half-hour episodes, each examining a different aspect of the post-prison experiences of everyday citizens trying to live peaceful and productive lives.
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Episode 101 |
With Rigor and With Love

Philadelphia’s mural arts program, pioneered by Jane Golden, offers hope and skills to the formerly incarcerated, featuring insightful interviews with program leader Dawan Williams.

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Episode 102 |

Explore the impact of incarceration on youth with expert Dr. Laurence Steinberg, alongside inspiring stories of redemption from advocates like Ghani, on a quest to break the cycle of punishment.

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Episode 103 |
The Simple Dignity of Work

Host Paul Butler delves into Jeff Brown’s grocery store initiative to provide job opportunities to ex-prisoners, aiming to uplift communities and restore dignity to returning citizens.

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Episode 104 |
On Our Own

Entrepreneurs like Darrell Alston, Maleek Jackson, and Mike Carter defy odds and stigma to launch successful businesses after prison, with insights from Dr. Tom Duffin’s business class for ex-inmates.

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Episode 105 |
Running the Traps

Former District Attorney R. Seth Williams shares his journey from incarceration to community advocacy, discussing the challenges faced by ex-convicts seeking redemption and trust in society.

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Episode 106 | (COMING SOON)
Never Going Back

The empowering work of Susan Burton and Tonie Willis  provides housing and healing to formerly incarcerated women; they share tales of resilience, hope and the transformative power of community.


Official Trailer | Season 1
Returning Citizens: Life Beyond Incarceration

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Dad’s Remorse Inspires Neighborhood Art & Healing | Returning Citizens S1 E1 

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Advocate Kempis “Ghani” Songster Channels Shame into Redemption | Returning Citizens  S1 E2

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Stigma Frustrates Returning Citizens Ready to Work | Returning Citizens S1 E3 

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Chef Mike Carter Goes from Prison Pizza to Philly Culinary Pioneer | Returning Citizens S1 E4

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Ex-Philly DA R. Seth Williams Reflects on His Own Incarceration | Returning Citizens S1 E5 

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A New Way of Life’s Susan Burton Creates a Women’s Community to Heal | Returning Citizens S1 E6 

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Donors & Distribution

Open Society Foundations

The world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights.

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United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey

On a mission to end poverty and expand opportunity for all.

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Philadelphia Foundation

Increases philanthropic investment in the community, fostering the economic, civic and social vitality of Greater Philadelphia.

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The Independence Foundation

Invests in people and programs that protect, improve and enrich the life experiences of residents of the Philadelphia.

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American Public Television

An American nonprofit organization and syndicator of programming for public television stations in the United States including nationwide for PBS stations.

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Brought to You By

Executive Producers: Al Roker, Brian O’Reilly, and Tracie Brennan
Purple Sage Productions
Writers: Brian O’Reilly, Paul Butler
Host: Paul Butler
American Public Television
Presented by: WHYY

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