Home/Free Documentary

Home/Free documentary film spotlighting re-entry barriers for formerly incarcerated people now available to stream on Prime Video

By the team at SlackMay 1st, 2023

Slack, Next Chapter, John Legend’s freeamerica, and the Equal Justice Initiative join forces to make powerful new documentary 

What does freedom look like after incarceration? Every year, more than 650,000 people in the U.S. leave prison and face a new set of consequences when they return home—from constant surveillance to denied access to employment, education and voting rights.  

Today Slack, in partnership with Next Chapter, freeamerica, and the Equal Justice Initiative, released Home/Free, a documentary short film shedding light on the unseen obstacles individuals face after incarceration. Building on our continued commitment to support returning individuals in obtaining high-skilled employment in the tech industry, the film aims to shift the public’s attitude toward re-entry and redemption. 

Narrated by John Legend, freeamerica founder, artist and activist, the film shares the stories of three people as they navigate re-entering society after incarceration and the organizations on a mission to eliminate those barriers. 


Slack’s journey in supporting previously incarcerated individuals started nearly seven years ago when over 200 Slack employees visited San Quentin State Prison and witnessed the engineering talent from incarcerated students learning to code.

Through these visits, we realized that the technology sector has a responsibility to act and reimagine the re-entry process. As a result, Slack incubated Next Chapter, a program that creates engineering career pathways for formerly incarcerated individuals in the tech sector and has since graduated over 40 apprentices into full-time engineering roles at leading tech companies. 

As the program has expanded, we have relied on a growing group of partners and their expertises to help scale it. The release of Home/Free is a means of extending the impact we’ve observed in the technology industry to an even wider audience. 

A look back to reflect on how far we’ve come

  • 2016: Slack team first visits San Quentin State Prison
  • 2017: Collaboration with W.K. Kellogg, freeamerica, and The Last Mile on a grant for the pilot apprenticeship program, Next Chapter
  • 2018: Slack hires its first three Next Chapter apprentices
  • 2019: Full-time job offers to all three apprentices
  • 2020:  
    • Three partner companies, Zoom, Dropbox and Square, join Next Chapter
    • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Concrete Rose and Zoom Cares fund Next Chapter
    • Full-time job offers to all apprentices
  • 2021:
    • Next Chapter expands to 11 hiring partners
    • Omidyar Network funds Next Chapter
    • Full-time job offers to all apprentices
  • 2022:
    • Next Chapter expands to 14 hiring partners
    • Collaboration with Aspen Digital, a program of the Aspen Institute, to release the Rework Reentry playbook, a guide to help other interested companies get involved with Next Chapter and fair-chance hiring
    • Salesforce invests $2.5 million in Next Chapter to accelerate the program
    • Full-time offer to all apprentices
  • 2023:
    • Next Chapter expands to 17 hiring partners
    • Slack releases Home/Free, a short documentary 

We have the power and responsibility to establish strong foundations that support and empower formerly incarcerated individuals to reintegrate into society. With Home/Free spotlighting the personal stories of leaders and professionals who have successfully re-entered society after incarceration, we can broaden awareness that people coming home should be defined by their potential, and not solely on their past.

Through sharing powerful stories, our goal is to spark crucial conversations and ignite a shift into meaningful change in our justice system.

Home/Free is available to stream on Prime Video now in the US and UK.

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