In 2012, California voters amended the state’s Three Strikes Law - one of the harshest criminal sentencing laws in the nation. The landmark passage of Proposition 36 constituted the first time in history that U.S. citizens voted to shorten sentences of the currently incarcerated. Within days, the reintegration of thousands of “lifers” – men and women once expecting to spend their lives in prison – was underway. THE RETURN weaves together a handful of close-to-the-bone narratives of characters on the front lines of this unprecedented shift: prisoners suddenly freed, families turned upside down, attorneys and judges wrestling with an untested law and reentry providers negotiating unfathomable transitions. Taken together, this constellation of stories yields an illuminating meta-narrative of an unfolding and historic reform, exploring what it can teach a nation reckoning with mass incarceration.