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A man who was sent to prison in the 1970s is sharing details about his startling re-entry into modern society, having been locked away for 44 years of his life.

Otis Johnson went to prison at the age of 25 for attempted murder of a police officer.

After 44 years, he was released last summer at the age of 69 and is now adjusting to life on the outside – and the ways in which the world has changed.

The newly-free senior let an Al Jazeera English camera crew follow him around New York, where he’s had to adjust many things that Americans take for granted, like endless food options, technology, and exponentially higher prices.

When he first got out, he says he was confused by people who seemed to be talking to themselves and figured everyone must be a secret agent because of their earbuds. He later learned about iPhones.

He is also blown away by all the options now available in grocery stores and the fact that payphones cost a dollar – and most people don’t even use them.

He says he doesn’t hold onto anger over being locked away and is instead concentrating on the future.

He was shocked to see that making a call from a payphone costs a dollar now, not 25 cents – and that most people don’t even use payphones anymore.

Otis Johnson was released from prison last summer at the age of 69 – after 44 years behind bars.

Technology was very different when Otis was first locked up in the early ’70s.

When he saw people all over wearing earbuds like these, he thought everyone might be working for the CIA



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