Will Avila was incarcerated at the age of 16 and spent the next decade in and out of prison.Tara Bahrampour, “Locked Up for Years as Teens, They’ve Returned Home to D.C. Hoping to Make a Difference,” Washington Post, June 5, 2018.
On returning to the community, he opened a cleaning business that employs formerly incarcerated people.Bahrampour, “They’ve Returned Home,” 2018.
“It really hurt me to see my life just go away after many people had told me that I was smart and I could be somebody. But I never thought about that myself: that I could be somebody,” Avila says in a new documentary, Becoming Free, which explores the reentry experiences of three people returning to Washington, DC, as young adults after being imprisoned for crimes as teenagers.Bahrampour, “They’ve Returned Home,” 2018. For the documentary Becoming Free, see Kristin Adair, “About the Film.”“They’ve Returned Home,” 2018. The film premiered in June at the By The People Festival in Washington, DC. Halcyon, “By the People.”