By Mark Ackerman and Dillon Thomas CANON CITY, Colo. (CBS4) – They thought they’d die in prison, but now a group of inmates serving life sentences are getting a unique look at how life on the outside has changed since they have been incarcerated.

Cullin Barnes, 41, of Aurora, was sentenced to 84 years behind bars after committing murder when he was just 16 years old. He pleaded guilty to killing his neighbor Lorraine Tillman with a kitchen knife during a robbery attempt.

Now, Barnes’ life sentence, along with a handful of others, will be up for review after state lawmakers passed a juvenile justice bill in 2016. To prepare Barnes and other inmates for their potential release, the Colorado Department of Corrections has started a three-year training program to help acclimate the men to life outside the Fremont Correctional Facility where they’ve spent most of their adult lives.

“I have hope now. I thought I was going to die in here,” Barnes told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas in a prison interview.

Part of the training program includes using $1,500 taxpayer-funded virtual reality headsets. The inmates run through a variety of scenarios – with software provided by a company called NSENA which includes tasks like doing the laundry, using a debit card and going on a job interview. Read more from…

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