‘Prisoner of Hope’ TV series guides families affected by criminal justice system

For Monalisa Johnson, helping families affected by the criminal justice system is a deeply personal mission. Some might remember Johnson as a volunteer on the A&E hit docu-series “60 Days In,” a program that takes everyday people and gives them a taste of incarceration.

Now, Johnson serves as producer and host of her own new TV series called “Prisoner of Hope” premiering Thanksgiving Day on YouTube.

“Prisoner of Hope” brings Johnson together with families of present, former or soon-to-be-released inmates. Johnson guides the families and their loved ones in finding solutions to overcome the devastating consequences associated with incarceration.

“Incarceration tears through families and doesn’t discriminate: young, old, Black, White, male, female,” Johnson said in a trailer promoting the new series. “We are witnessing an epidemic in our country.”

Johnson, who is also CEO of Sierra Productions, has ties to New Orleans. Her production company is known for commercial work with the Law Offices of Chip Forstall that features a long list of New Orleans musicians putting their own spin on the popular jingle.

In her newest production venture, Johnson passionately helps families tackle the aftermath of prison release.

According to the Sentencing Project, there are 2.2 million people behind bars, which is a 500 percent increase over the last 40 years. This statistic hit Johnson personally when her daughter was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

“After losing my daughter to the system I felt alone and was unable to find any resources to help me navigate through the process of healing,” Johnson said. “It is my mission to make sure no family faces this journey alone. Prisoner of Hope gives families the tools and guidance necessary for the healing process.”

The self-funded, seven-episode series features a team of healing experts including therapists, finance experts, social activists and spiritual leaders. Their combined goal: Help tackle the most critical of the family issues plaguing them and their loved ones.

In the series, Johnson uses a combination of compassion and tough love to help families with incarcerated loved ones prepare for a new normal.

Viewers tuning into the series can also expect an education while following these families receiving resources. “Prisoner of Hope” also works to dispel the many myths of the criminal justice system.

Watch the trailer and subscribe to the Prisoner of Hope TV YouTube channel for upcoming episodes. For more information about the Prisoner of Hope TV series, visit the website, www.prisonerofhopetv.com.

Created in partnership with Sierra Productions