2000, 56 Minutes
Staying Out follows the journeys of Christie and Terry, two people leaving prison to make a new start on the outside.
In a society and political climate increasingly concerned with law, order and community safety, why do Australia’s justice system and rehabilitation programs not show more positive results? This documentary attempts to provide some answers to these questions, from the perspective of two people who have experienced that system at first-hand. Their stories are disturbing, moving and enlightening.
Since he was 18, Terry has spent a total of 16 years in jail. At 44 and having served eight years for armed robbery, he is leaving jail to live in a halfway house because his family has rejected his efforts at reconciliation. Thoughtful and articulate, Terry’s journey takes him on a road of discovery, disappointment and revelation as he battles with old demons and his nagging sense of loneliness.
Christie is 25 years old and has spent only two months out of jail since she was 18. A reformed heroin addict, Christie has a nine-year-old son, Damien, with whom she hopes to reunite. She is expecting her second child soon after her release. This time, Christie is determined to succeed on the outside. She relies heavily on the emotional support offered by her partner Paul and his family, and struggles to make amends to her son while adjusting to motherhood for the second time. Together they hope to win back their nine-year-old son Damien, who has always lived with Paul’s parents.
Filmed over 18 months, Staying Out is compelling viewing as Terry and Christie make the transition from their oppressive, yet familiar and structured prison environment, to a world of space, choices and unexpected temptations. Staying Out records Terry’s and Christie’s return to the outside world — their feelings and opinions, their achievements and failures, and their hopes for the future.
A Film Australia National Interest Program in association with Emerald Films. Supported by a grant from the Criminology Research Council. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director/Writer: Sally Browning
Running Time: 56 Minutes
Classification: MA 15+. Consumer advice: Drug use.
Curriculum Links: Law; Legal Studies; Criminology; Criminal Justice; Restorative Justice; Justice Studies; Correctional Education; Offender Rehabilitation; PDHPE; Personal Development; Values education; Ethics. Levels: senior secondary and tertiary.