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Doing Time: Life Inside the Big House (1991)

America Undercover offers an inside look at the maximum-security federal penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. It examines the difficulties of life in the prison and talks to prisoners ... See full summary »

Director:

Alan Raymond

Star:

Alan Raymond
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Alan Raymond Alan Raymond ... Himself - Narrator
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America Undercover offers an inside look at the maximum-security federal penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. It examines the difficulties of life in the prison and talks to prisoners who are sentenced to spend the rest of their lives there. Written by Shatterdaymron

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Genres:

Documentary

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Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 1991 (USA) See more »

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Color:

Color
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it's hard time for all
7 April 2018 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Alan and Susan Raymond's Academy Award-nominated "Doing Time: Life Inside the Big House" focuses on the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania. It features interviews with the inmates, the guards, and even the warden. It looks like one tough existence in there, and the prisoners will probably have a hard time reintegrating into society once they get out.

The documentary mentions that the US leads the world in incarceration. At the time, the prison population was 1.5 million; now it's over 2 million, most of them black and Latino. The documentary also mentions the sentencing reform that caused the prison population to swell. I suspect that the things experienced by the inmates in Lewisburg - including the plumbing issue - happen in prisons all over the US.

The basic point of the documentary is that these men are human beings, and their mistakes sent them to this hellhole. Indeed, it's the so-called War on Drugs* has disproportionately targeted non-white people and devastated entire communities. As long as we have these regressive laws, the prisons will almost certainly remain filled.

*One of Nixon's cabinet members later admitted that the purpose of the War on Drugs was to destroy both the anti-war movement and the Black Power movement.


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