It appears the next great social justice movement will be one for prisoners, and you can bet Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will be involved.
The famous WWE superstar and actor has been heavily involved in the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department Boot Camp Program, which will be featured in an HBO documentary entitledRock & A Hard Place.
During the six month program, described as an inmate boot camp, juvenile offenders facing sentences anywhere from five years to life are "broken down" and then built up.
"I told these young men six months ago when they first arrived that the life they once knew, was over," Johnson said in an Instagram post. "That they would get broken down to their core — physically and mentally in ways they never imagined — but I also told them they would never break. Big difference. They never broke and today, they graduate and become free men. Better men."
News of Johnson's program comes just on the heels of President Obama's announcement that he'd be granting 46 prisoners clemency — the largest grant since the 1960s — for non-violent drug offenses. That clemency comes with a new public acknowledgement of the incredibly high recidivism rate in the United States, which as of 2005 was hovering around 76 percent.
Johnson and his staff boast that their rate of recidivism — or rate of prisoners being re-arrested — is at eight percent.
"When I was 13 or 14, I started getting arrested, doing a lot of things I shouldn't have been doing," he said. "And I wanted them to know that life does go on and they're going to have another opportunity."
But it wasn't all good news.
Not everyone who joined Johnson's program succeeding in graduating. A separate post on Instagram acknowledged the fact that two of the inmates Johnson got into the program did not make it out — both committed a crime and were arrested, and now face up to 90 years in prison.
"Now it's done and they're future is bleak," he wrote. "Looked em both in the eyes and they know they f*cked up and there's a heavy price they'll pay. It's also a reminder that no matter who we are or what we do, there's always consequences to every action."
Johnson and HBO will start filming Rock & A Hard Place February 26th, and they will follow "a group of young offenders at the Miami-Dadae Country Corrections And Rehabilitation Department Boot Camp Program." According to his website, the show will follow a 40 to 50 person cohort over the course of four months.
Hopefully, Johnson's show and continued attention to the United States' broken prison system will bring about reform and help give our youth more second chances.