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Released: Kevin's Story

Season 1
CC | tv-pg
In 1997, Kevin was caught stealing $160 worth of children's clothes. He had been in and out of trouble for years as a young man. A battle with drugs led Kevin into a life of crime, and it was during a relapse, after nearly two years of sobriety, that Kevin made the mistake that would change his life forever. Under California's three-strikes sentencing law, which sets mandatory 25-to-life sentences for third felony convictions, Kevin, who had two previous strikes, was given a sentence of 25 years to life stemming from the shoplifting charge.

Kevin ended up serving 19 years of that sentence, and although he faced many challenges while incarcerated, it was the separation from his five children that affected him most. "It took me a long time to come to grips with the fact that my children didn't know me as a dad," he says.

Kevin credits a run-in with his son while they were both incarcerated for encouraging him to set a positive example and change his ways. In fact, Kevin used his time in prison to become an ordained minister.

"Nineteen-plus years later, I would never complain about the time I've done because this place made me who I am today," Kevin says. "My dream and my goal is to really be a light. To be a pillar in my community, but, first and foremost, in my family."

Tune in to the premiere of Released September 30 at 10/9c—only on OWN.

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