Film: This Los Angeles-Based Gang Intervention Program Serves As a Model for Rehabilitation and Healing

Film: This Los Angeles-Based Gang Intervention Program Serves As a Model for Rehabilitation and Healing
Human Rights

To create lives of possibilities, we need to decriminalize trauma.


The unique trauma of growing up a gang member in one of Los Angeles’ gangs has a cure: Homeboy Industries. Brave New Films’ latest short documentary Healing Trauma: Beyond Gangs and Prisons dives into the transformational stories of former gang members who have found hope through Homeboy Industries’ career, education and mental health services.

SR3- Healing Trauma: Beyond Gangs & Prisons_FINAL_WEB_CAPS_081418 from Brave New Films on Vimeo.

“No kid is seeking anything when they join a gang. Every kid is fleeing from something when they join a gang.” – Father Gregory Boyle, founder and Director of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention and re-integration organization in the country.

 For the homeboys and homegirls featured in Healing Trauma, abusive childhoods inevitably led to an anger that resulted in their criminal lifestyle that landed them in prison. Upon their release, these former gang members found their redemption with Homeboy Industries, Father Greg Boyle, and the many re-integrating programs offered through the Los Angeles-based organization.  

Mass incarceration is a broken system the U.S. government keeps funneling taxpayers’ money into – and it’s not making us any safer. Without sentencing justice, people – primarily poor people of color – will continue to be locked up and released in a vicious cycle that fails to address the root causes of systemic issues such as trauma, poverty, and racism. 

Sentencing justice means addressing the underlying systems that have created mass incarceration. Healing Trauma: Beyond Gangs and Prisons is the third film in Brave New Films’ Sentencing Reform series. The series features locally-led organizations that are working to end generational trauma through education, community-based services, employment and therapy. The need for sentencing justice highlights every personal story in the series; it’s a vital need so that the cycle of recidivism can finally stop.

Robert Greenwald

President, Brave New Films

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