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Cautionary tales from gang members behind bars could help today's teens turn away from violence. That's the idea behind a new documentary profiling convicted criminals in Charlotte.
Titled, "Your Future, Your Choice: More than a street life", collaborators hope hearing from those behind bars will make a difference in the lives of young people who may be teetering on the edge.
One of those profiled: convicted murderer, Montrez Williams. He currently serving two life sentences in prison for killing two brothers in 2008.
"You gotta change your whole blueprint on life," Williams said in the film. "Cause the road that we take, it only two--it's only two outs: death or in here."
Change is a key theme in the documentary, something 21 year old Willie Walker knows well. He's also featured in the project, but as a success story.
"I did four months in jail myself, for some little wrong decisions I made," he said. "That was a big deal for me. I had a lot of mirrors in there and I just wanted to turn the other way."
Dimitri McDaniel, another success story also used to live life on the edge. While he doesn't like to dwell on his past but he did tell WBTV he worked hard to get on the right track after his son was born.
"I mean I had to make a change some way,"recalled McDaniel. "I have a child now so I have to grow as a man."
Growth he and Walker are committed to. In fact, Walker went back to school for his GED -- and now remodels homes and hopes to one day own his own business.
"You can turn your life around," he insisted. "It's not that hard. Whatever you did. Like I had some hard charges, too and people telling me I couldn't get jobs for what I had on my record. But it's a way. All you have to do is keep trying."
The documentary will not be released to the public but collaborators say they will offer private screening to any group or organization.
Contact CMPD's Gang of One program or the U.S. Attorney's office for more details.