LOS ANGELES, CA – The Antirecidivism Coalition (ARC) and InsideOUT Writers (IOW) co-hosted a special screening of Malik Vitthal’s “Imperial Dreams” at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in Century City. The gathering convened more than 200 guests at the Ray Kurtzman Theater with backgrounds in social work, law, entertainment, and academia.

Imperial Dreams tells the story of Bambi, a 21-year-old, single father, returning home from prison to a life of broken relationships, violence, addiction, and the pressure to return to his former gang. The film points out the barriers to employment and the cycles of recidivism stemming from a lack of personal support, limited opportunities, and systematic gaps.

ARC and IOW co-hosted the screening, followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A.  The idea for the screening arose when ARC Founder & President, Scott Budnick saw the film. “I loved it’s honesty and raw telling of what we see everyday at ARC. A person is released from the system – whether it be camp, juvenile hall, prison, or jail – and upon returning home is expected to succeed in a war zone. They are exposed to trauma, violence, broken families, and virtually no support.” ARC and IOW strive to provide support and services to individuals facing similar challenges and barriers.

This screening aligns with the missions of ARC and IOW and their efforts to raise awareness of the recidivism crisis. The problem is particularly notable in California, where the U.S. Supreme Court has ordered the state to reduce it’s massively overcrowded prison system. Not only is the system failing, it is extremely expensive. California spends more than $200,000 annually to incarcerate a single youth in a state facility and more than $50,000 a year to imprison an adult.  It is ineffective, and produces worse outcomes and further harm.

ARC and IOW believe in empowering leadership as a catalyst for change. Through storytelling and advocacy, ARC and IOW fight for fair and just policies in the juvenile and criminal justice systems.