Documentary short. When he was 16, Roberto was sentenced to life in prison. 30 years later, Roberto is released after reforming from his violent past. Searching for redemption, Roberto helps other released lifers (people who have been sentenced to life in prison) change their lives and re-enter society.

Director’s Vision for ‘The Lifers Network’

I first got to know Roberto and his tight knit community of fellow lifers at their weekly pizza night hangout. All of them had been sentenced to life in prison as teenagers. After serving decades, they’d been released to a changed and overwhelming world.

This film isn’t about a miscarriage of justice, or the wrongfully accused—though most of the lifers’ crimes were inextricably linked to an era of stark inequality and mass incarceration.

The Lifers Network is about ongoing journeys towards redemption, about a community of men and women who have sinned, in many cases horrifically, but have paid their debt to society and are doing their best to live meaningful lives.

I hope that anyone who sees this documentary will feel inspired to give someone a second chance—whether that’s hiring a formerly incarcerated person, forgiving a loved one who may have done time, or embracing a lifer as their neighbor.