Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Prison Movies

Sat down this weekend and watched "Shawshank Redemption" again. That movie just gives me the chills every time I watch it. I hadn't seen it since before I started working here.

Kinda puts some things in perspective.

I'm not really that into cruelty, but I can see how that sort of prison setting would be more of a deterrent to crime than the system we have now. And sure as hell nobody would have been standing at the door calling Captain Hadley a fag and threatening to beat his a**.

They knew what would happen if that door came open.

Nowadays we can't even open the door. And they know that.

I think I'm just going to leave that line of discussion alone. I've already sat here for too long arguing with myself over the pros and cons (so to speak) of prison brutality and it has gotten me nowhere.

I'll just agree to disagree with myself.

So, all in all, I thought it was a good, if somewhat disturbing movie. And the fact that it came from Stephen King really startled me. I think it was the first of his non-scary, not monster based movies I ever saw.

So, what is your favorite prison movie? I'd really like to know. And I've never seen "Oz" or "Prison Break" either. So if you have any opinions on these, I'd like to hear them.

Tell me, has there ever been a prison movie that showed the officers in a good light?


  1. Rev, I really liked Oz. Rent it if you can. Scared the hell out of me and reminded me to stay on the straight and narrow.

  2. "Let's Go To Prison", even though its supposed to be a farcical comedy, may actually be one of the most accurate made. Joe Public may not "get it", but CO's should find this hilarious.

  3. Shawshank is my favorite Prison movie. Prison Break is an awesome TV show. I would encourage you to watch it, however, stop at the end of season two.

  4. When has brutality ever done anything except make more damaged people? Think about the number of people that were put away in those days because of their color or their family name or because some some town sheriff didn't like the way they looked. Did prison brutality do anything but turn them loose as violently damaged people?

    I know you don't see a lot of guys who probably are innocent. Sounds like most the guys you deal with are just mentally challenged in the worst ways. Would beating the crap out of them solve anything? It won't cure mental illness or just plain stupid so I doubt it would help.

  5. Anonymous, as politically incorrect as this may sound, you would be surprised how someone can be motivated to change their errant behaviour when all reasonable methods fail. Negative reinforcement, by which I mean mean use of our infamous meal loaf, or property restriction or other attitude adjusters I won't mention can cause some of these guys to realize that the way they are behaving is not only a problem for other people, but also for themselves and causes them to want to change in a positive way. It does help, even stupid and mentally ill offenders make the connection between bad behaviour, bad consequences.

  6. Joe- I'm going to get the first season and check it out. Thanks!

    BA- I dunno about that one.

    Tango- What disturbs most people is like old hat to me.

    Guy- I forgot about that one! Adding it to my list. Thankee!

    Masorti- Thanks for the tip. I'll check that one out too!

    Anon- In a way, you are correct. General brutality is unproductive. However, making prison a punishment would make being there less desirable. And I guarantee that they would be more polite when they left. Just saying "No no!" when the baby is trying to touch the stove doesn't work. Smacking their hands does.

    BA- Why aren't you teaching somewhere?

  7. Green Mile is a great flick, and has the most positive depiction of corrections officers ever.

  8. Anon- Most of the C.O.'s were pretty decent in that flick. Gonna have to watch that one again. Thanks!

  9. Shawshank is by far my favorite. Have to stop and watch it every time I'm flipping thru the channels and come across it. LOVED "Let's Go to Prison" and the Green Mile. Also an avid Oz fan. Liked the earlier stuff more than the last season. Let's not forget "Cool Hand Luke" and "Stir Crazy"...oldies but goodies! I've never watched an episode of Prison Break. Can't watch a show where the premise is our worst nightmare.

    I agree with BA...the proper use of the tools we have can make a large dent in the bad behavior. Property Restriction and Food Loaf are great ways to raise an offender's awareness to the consequences of his actions. (Holy Crap...TC is wearing off on me!!)