UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — Isaac Wright Jr.’s journey through the US prison system and back to freedom certainly hasn’t been easy.
But it has a storybook ending that includes a new career as an attorney and now a stroll on the red carpet for a new primetime network drama called “For Life” inspired by his life story.
"When this thing turned around for me, I had a feeling like I'm leaving thousands of people behind," said Wright. "These are the guys that I wanted to help.
Wright was sentenced to life in prison 1991 on a drug conviction but successfully won his appeal. He ultimately earned his law degree and has since worked to help other prisoners prove their innocence.
"I know that there's a wave going on right now with prison reform" he said. "There's a lot of people and organizations that are doing their part in trying to make that happen. I believe and I hope that this story will be that snowball rolling down the hill, prison reform."
CNN contributor and criminal justice reform advocate Van Jones also attended the red carpet premier.
"We put stuff on TV that never happens," he joked. "We got aliens on TV, we got folks flying around in tights. That'll never happen."
"This happens every day. People go to prison every day, unjustly. They didn't have the right lawyer, they didn't have enough money, their skin was the wrong color," he added.
"We gotta do something about it. You cannot watch this series and not come away changed," said Jones.
Show creator Hank Steinberg, along with executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, says it’s time for stories like Wrights’ to be shared with a national audience.
"It's not going to be eating your vegatables," Steinberg said. "You're not going to be lectured, you're not going to be screamed at, you're not going to be told what to think. You're going to be invested in the characters and you're going to be confronted with difficult questions and it's up to the viewer to decide what they want to do with it."