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SUPERMAX: Life in a Super-Maximum Security Prison (2 Programs) DVD
Promoting greater public safety and punishment that better fits the crime, legislators are pressing for tougher sentencing and prisons that bear no resemblance to 'country clubs'. But dehumanized to the point of despair and even insanity, many inmates being returned to the streets from 'supermax' prisons are angry and psychotic. This explosive two-part series featuring ABC News anchor Ted Koppel scrutinizes the impact of 'supermax' on convicts, prison staff, and society itself.
The series consists of two 40-minute programs:
SUPERMAX: A Prison Within a Prison
Totally isolated from the outer world and deprived of virtually all forms of meaningful activity and social contact, inmates idle away their years in a limbo of concrete, steel, fluorescent light, and little else. In part one of this program, convicts speak out as ABC News anchor Ted Koppel explores solitary confinement in today’s super-maximum security prisons, the quarters of men too violent or uncooperative for incarceration anywhere else. In part two, prison staff reveal their experiences with this harsh system as Mr. Koppel investigates the skyrocketing demand for correctional officers that has led to abbreviated training regimens and a decline in proficiency standards.
PRISON GANGS AND RACISM BEHIND BARS
Prisons have become incubators for hate, where ethnic and white supremacist enclaves vie for control through violence and coercion directed along color lines. In part one of this program, ABC News anchor Ted Koppel talks with prisoners doomed to solitary confinement due to their gang affiliations. They discuss the dangers that drove them to join - and that keep them looking over their shoulders even in the so-called protective environment of a supermax prison. In part two, Mr. Koppel spends a night in solitary confinement to observe firsthand the effects of supermax on inmates - and to document the type of ex-convict that will one day be returned to society: racially intolerant, unrehabilitated, and psychologically and emotionally broken.