One of the nation’s highest security prisons, HMP Durham, opens its doors to camera crews in this Channel 4 exposé over a 7-month period. With unprecedented access to footage of the life of both the criminals behind bars and those who guard them, the aptly named two-part programme, Prison, provides a fascinating if slightly disturbing insight into the criminal justice system in this Britain.
Having spent a month gaining the confidence of the guards and inmates, director Paddy Wivell and his team of camera men are given free reign of the prison, meaning the footage they capture shows exactly what life is like on the inside. Paddy and the crew speak to some of the on-duty guards about the struggles they face in terms of security, from an influx of the so-called “zombie drug” to the violence and misconduct of prisoners on a daily basis, the men and women who serve here are no strangers to danger and routinely put their lives on the line to maintain order. The first episode focuses on the drug epidemic that plagues our prisons, how violence can spread so quickly and why so many inmates suffer from such debilitating mental health issues.
Prison – Thursday 9:00pm on Channel 4.