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Paroled: The Ex-Con Experience (A Documentary Proposal)

Synopsis “Paroled: The Ex-Con Experience” is a documentary that will chronicle and intimately capture the day-to-day post-release affairs of a recently released ex-offender named Jason Goudlock who, after being incarcerated for 20 years for the criminal offenses of aggravated robbery and felonious assault, returns to the hard-knock life and city streets of Cleveland, Ohio, as an essentially homeless person without any reliable family support at the age of 38 to pursue his ambition of becoming an entrepreneur.

Jason intends to use his story (post-incarceration) to bring attention to the lack of adequate pre- and post-release aftercare programs available to inmates; and he also wants his story to double as the prototypical template of “how to self-sufficiently become successful, despite being an ex-offender” so that his fellow inmate parolee successors who are paroled under similar circumstances—with nothing other than a bus ticket to their name—will be motivated and inspired to become success stories themselves and avoid becoming casualties in the perpetually revolving door of recidivism.

Working Hypothesis and Interpretation Everyone has made mistakes in some stage of their lives and they deserve a second chance to redeem themselves, especially persons convicted of criminal offenses. If an inmate is placed in an environment that is positive and constructive, they will become products of their environment. Positive and constructive thoughts will triumph over negative thoughts and influences, which will, upon release from prison become a formula for success. This documentary will delve into the transitional phase—from prison back to society—of an ex-offender who is self-educated, determined, and ambitious.

After watching this documentary, the audience should feel educated about the problematic transition hurdles that many ex-offenders are faced with upon being released. The audience will see that rehabilitation can be accomplished with someone who has been incarcerated.

Main Character/Subject Jason Goudlock is an African-American male, native of Cleveland, Ohio, who was convicted in 1994 of aggravated robbery and felonious assault. Jason doesn’t have an extensive criminal record as an adult or juvenile, but he does have an extensive record of being placed in a combination of ten different group homes, foster homes, and residential placements. Like countless other African-American males, Jason grew up in a dysfunctional, one-parent family in a poverty-stricken neighborhood plagued with crime.

In an attempt to avoid the pitfalls most commonly associated with growing up in poverty—i.e., substance abuse, criminal activity, gangs, etc.—Jason turned to the sport of basketball in search of refuge, hoping to earn a scholarship. But due to lack of focus, Jason fell victim to the snares of streetlife, which landed him in a prison cell serving a term of six to 25 years, along with an additional nine-year mandatory gun specification.

During Jason’s incarceration he experienced many trials and tribulations, ranging from having to deal with the tragic, untimely deaths of his mother and surrogate grandparents to being repeatedly assaulted, set up, and starved by corrupt prison guards. The corrupt practices of the prison guards led Jason to retaliate against them. As a result of his retaliatory behavior, Jason has spent most of his incarceration in 23-hours-a-day, loud, hostile, administrative-segregation lockdown.

Despite the constant anxiety and stress Jason experienced while in solitary confinement, he found the resolve and resilience to educate himself by reading self-help business and motivation books in preparation for pursuing his aspiration of becoming a successful entrepreneur upon his release from prison. He realizes that to eliminate the chances of becoming a casualty of recidivism it is as essential as flour is to bread that he return to society with a “plan.” He hopes to succeed at starting and expanding an on-line mail order business and starting a publishing company for incarcerated authors. He hopes his work can inspire many downtrodden and impoverished people throughout the world to remain steadfast and undeterred in their pursuit of success and happiness.


Downloads: Download a PDF copy of Paroled: The Ex-Con Experience.

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