MICHAEL'S COMPLETE PICTURE VIDEO
The videos we produce are created to humanize the defendant and to show the multifaceted values they bring to their families, friends and to society. For example, in the video we created for Michael, we showed how personal tragedy and work-related injury led to a debilitating addiction to painkillers, and how Michael is so much more than just another opioid crisis statistic.
He's a Nurturing Father
His sons rely on him for guidance and stability, and every single day he is there for them.
He's a Caring Neighbor
He takes care of those around him who are incapacitated or in need of a helping hand.
He's a Supportive Husband
He encourages and supports his partner fully and unconditionally.
He's a Model for Recovery
He is committed to sharing his story with medical professionals at conferences to advocate for new scientific approaches in treating opioid addiction.
An injury on the job caused Michael to be prescribed a variety of drugs in an effort to manage crippling pain, and like so many other good, hardworking people in our country right now, he descended a slippery slope into opioid addiction. And like many of the approximately 11 million other Americans who have developed a dependence on opioids, Michael began breaking the law in order to feed his addiction.
After being approached by Michael's defense attorney to help present the presiding judge with more information on Michael's character, we began researching the nuanced circumstances relating to Michael’s case, interviewing his wife, children and friends to formulate a Complete Picture. It became clear right away how much Michael is loved—and needed— by his family and community. Even while struggling with addiction, he showed an unwavering dedication to supporting his son academically and personally, teaching the neighborhood kids baseball, and ensuring that his disabled neighbor was cared for. Michael had often dreamed of the day that he could receive help with his deadly addiction.
Being arrested was, in Michael’s words, a lifesaver, as social services he had been in need of but could not afford were made available at last. While awaiting sentencing day, Michael was granted drug rehab, counseling and other rehabilitation services by the court, all of which he embraced and completed successfully. Because of these programs, he has now been sober for over four years.
A five-to-ten-year prison term seemed so inevitable that the court gave him a turn-in date and instructed him to attend prison orientation, which Michael did. He, his wife Marie, and two sons are forever thankful that after watching the Complete Picture video about Michael, the judge made an unprecedented decision to give Michael supervised release instead of sending him directly to prison. He was given this sentence on the strict condition that he maintain his recovery program and avoid further infractions.
How is Michael today? One and a half years after his sentencing, Michael is still sober, is holding down a full-time job and recently bought his son his first car. Michael’s son is aiming for a sports scholarship in baseball, so Michael practices with him every day, rain or shine, and also takes him to tournaments. He is attentive to his son’s progress in school—and now his son is currently getting a 4.5 GPA. Michael himself has returned to school and we will follow up with an update when he graduates.