More women than ever are working as guards in the toughest prisons in the U.S. Prison Women brings cameras inside some of those facilities and, combined with interviews with female correctional officers, viewers witness firsthand the danger and mind games involved in this job.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Prison Women - Prison - Netflix
A prison, also known as a correctional facility, jail, gaol (dated, British English), penitentiary (American English), detention center (American English), or remand center is a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state. Prisons are most commonly used within a criminal justice system: people charged with crimes may be imprisoned until they are brought to trial; those pleading or being found guilty of crimes at trial may be sentenced to a specified period of imprisonment. Prisons can also be used as a tool of political repression by authoritarian regimes. Their perceived opponents may be imprisoned for Political crimes, often without trial or other legal due process; this use is illegal under most forms of international law governing fair administration of justice. In times of war, prisoners of war or detainees may be detained in military prisons or prisoner of war camps, and large groups of civilians might be imprisoned in internment camps. In American English, prison and jail are usually treated as having separate definitions. The term prison or penitentiary tends to describe institutions that incarcerate people for longer periods of time, such as many years, and are operated by the state or federal governments. The term jail tends to describe institutions for confining people for shorter periods of time (e.g. for shorter sentences or pre-trial detention) and are usually operated by local governments. Outside of North America, prison and jail have the same meaning. Common slang terms for a prison include: “the pokey”, “the slammer”, “the clink”, “the joint”, “the calaboose”, “the hoosegow” and “the big house”. Slang terms for imprisonment include: “behind bars”, “in stir” and “up the river” (a possible reference to Sing Sing).
Prison Women - Transportation, prison ships and penal colonies - Netflix
Gaols at the time were run as business ventures, and contained both felons and debtors; the latter were often housed with their wives and younger children. The gaolers made their money by charging the inmates for food, drink, and other services, and the system was generally corruptible. One reform of the seventeenth century was the establishment of the London Bridewell as a house of correction for women and children. It was the first facility to make any medical services available to prisoners. With the widely used alternative of penal transportation halted in the 1770s, the immediate need for additional penal accommodations emerged. Given the undeveloped institutional facilities, old sailing vessels, termed hulks, were the most readily available and expandable choice to be used as places of temporary confinement. While conditions on these ships were generally appalling, their use and the labor thus provided set a precedent which persuaded many people that mass incarceration and labour were viable methods of crime prevention and punishment. The turn of the 19th century would see the first movement toward Prison reform, and by the 1810s, the first state prisons and correctional facilities were built, thereby inaugurating the modern prison facilities available today. France also sent criminals to overseas penal colonies, including Louisiana, in the early 18th century. Penal colonies in French Guiana operated until 1952, such as the notable Devil's Island (Île du Diable). Katorga prisons were harsh work camps established in the 17th century in Russia, in remote underpopulated areas of Siberia and the Russian Far East, that had few towns or food sources. Siberia quickly gained its fearful connotation of punishment.
England used penal transportation of convicted criminals (and others generally young and poor) for a term of indentured servitude within the general population of British America between the 1610s and 1776. The Transportation Act 1717 made this option available for lesser crimes, or offered it by discretion as a longer-term alternative to the death penalty, which could theoretically be imposed for the growing number of offenses. The substantial expansion of transportation was the first major innovation in eighteenth-century British penal practice. Transportation to America was abruptly suspended by the Criminal Law Act 1776 (16 Geo. 3 c.43) with the start of the American Rebellion. While sentencing to transportation continued, the act instituted a punishment policy of hard labour instead. The suspension of transport also prompted the use of prisons for punishment and the initial start of a prison building program. Britain would resume transportation to specifically planned penal colonies in Australia between 1788 and 1868.
Prison Women - References - Netflix