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BBC – Louis Theroux: Behind Bars (2008)

BBC Louis Theroux Behind Bars

Built in 1852, San Quentin is one of America’s oldest prisons and suffers from chronic overcrowding. Although famous for its death row the prison’s main task is to house a transient population of 3,000 murderers, sexual predators and small-time criminals.

Louis spends two weeks with these inmates and quickly discovers that they inhabit a strange world within a world with its own rules and its own brutal code of conduct.

He meets amongst others David Silva who is serving 521 years and 11 life sentences and is locked down for 23 hours a day. Silva’s crimes as he describes them ‘would never be forgotten’ and he talks of how he faces up to the prospect of never leaving prison.

Louis meets Deborah and Rob a transgender couple who live like husband and wife and how Deborah feels that after 20 years of continual offending, San Quentin now feels like home.

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