America's Hardest Prisons

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Find out what goes on inside America’s most dangerous prisons. Visit the institutions where hardened criminals try to break all the rules every day and meet the prison officers who try to keep them in line. Discover the stories behind the inmates who are kept there. For some, life on the inside is all they know. For others, only thoughts of their loved ones keep them on the right track. And for those who want to go straight, their biggest challenge comes when they try to make a new life on the outside. The critically acclaimed America’s Hardest Prisons returns for another six-part series beginning with a guided tour of Stateville Correctional Facility, in Chicago, Illinois, by Sgt. Baldwin, a 16-year veteran. He expresses the importance of the outside world to inmates and how it keeps them sane. It turns out family, romance and friendship are the things that make life go around, even among ‘the worst of the worst’. The series ends in Fremont Correctional Facility, one of Colorado’s largest and busiest prisons, and perhaps for both inmates and officers, one of its most complicated. About half of the state’s sex offenders are housed here and they make up 75 per cent of this facility’s population. Housing such a large number of these offenders in one place is a daunting challenge. Fremont must protect these potential victims inside, while preparing them for life outside the walls, for a society that often does not want them back.

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Episode Description

1

Australias Hardest Prisons Lockdown Oz Maximum Security

Episode Description

1

The Stabbing

2

Attacked Nurse

3

Shakedown

4

Drug Bust

5

Lockdown Inside Maximum Security

6

Predators Behind Bars

7

Lockdown Gangland

8

Convict Air

Episode Description

1

Boiling Point

With more thieves, drug dealers and addicts entering each month, how do under-resourced staff cope when a prison reaches breaking point?

2

Deadly Allegiance

In Utah State Prison one in four of the prisoner population has gang ties. Gangs battling gangs and extreme loyalty - but this time it's behind bars

3

Last Chain Gang

Phoenix, Arizona prides itself on keeping jail costs low, making inmates labour for their upkeep in the nation's only chain gang.

4

Outnumbered And Alone

Follow three new recruits as they face the challenges of officer training at the tough and isolated prison in Rawlins, Wyoming.

5

School Of Hard Knocks

Ironwood Correctional Facility is set in the middle of the desert. When a riot breaks out, the 81 prisoners have some tough decisions to make.

6

Young And Bad

Iowa separates its youthful offenders from their hardened adult prisons. But is housing 1,100 young convicts together a breeding ground for trouble?
Episode Description

1

Gang Wars

Pelican Bay State Prison is home to some of the world's most dangerous gang members. From behind bars, leaders of gangs still run their organisations.

2

Aryan Brotherhood

In America's maximum-security prisons, they are the most feared inmates. Discover the story of the Aryan Brotherhood, whose reign of violence and intimidation has extended far beyond the prison walls.

3

Iron Grip

North Carolina's Alexander Correctional Institution is a fortress that houses some of America's most hardened criminals. Tough rules and regulations make it a prison all convicts want to avoid.

4

Gangland

Rival white and Mexican gangs have turned California's Salinas Valley State Prison into a war zone. What will happen when the lockdown, imposed since two prison officers were stabbed, is lifted?

5

Women Behind Bars

California's Valley State Prison houses nearly 4,000 female inmates. Enter a world riddled with drugs and danger, where hundreds of babies are born to incarcerated mums.

6

Aryan Brotherhood

In America's maximum-security prisons, they are the most feared inmates. Discover the story of the Aryan Brotherhood, whose reign of violence and intimidation has extended far beyond the prison walls.
Episode Description

1

Surviving Stateville

Built in 1925 and aging badly, Stateville Correctional is a dangerous place filled with dangerous men, nearly all serving 20 years minimum.

2

Life After Lockdown

Prison is hard, but getting out can be even harder. Most inmates leave with less than $200, needing a job and a bed before the cash runs out.

3

Bad Girls

At the Wayne County Jail, officers and counsellors struggle to rehabilitate female offenders, including thieves, drug addicts and prostitutes.

4

Kids Behind Bars

Colorado's Youthful Offender System aims to break down criminal habits and gang mentalities, from first-time convicts to street-savvy veterans.

5

Frontier Jail

Even Alaska has its share of bad guys, from drunk drivers to sex offenders, robbers to murderers, and there are 12 prisons to house them.

6

Marked For Death

With sex offenders making up 75 per cent of its inmates, Fremont Correctional Facility is one of Colorado's most complicated prisons.
Episode Description

1

Chaos Control

Drunk drivers, drug dealers, petty thieves and killers make trouble for themselves and officers processing them in St Louis County Jail's open central booking area, before they're assigned to cells.

2

Inside The Kill Fence

Behind the big electric fence at one Colorado prison, inmates have resorted to classic convict behaviour. Gangs and other illegal activities flourish here, posing serious problems for officers.

3

Mexican Lockdown

Just south of the US-Mexico border, notorious Mexican prison Cedes houses a number of criminals linked to dangerous and influential drug cartels.

4

Judgement Day

Meet the officers trying to protect Cuyahoga County Jail from the spread of the Heartless Felons – one of Ohio's deadliest prison gangs.

5

Most Dangerous Women

Go inside one of America’s most dangerous prisons where hardened criminals may be female, but it's just as difficult to keep them in line.