Recommended Docuseries

The popularity of shows such as Making a Murderer and Orange Is the New Black have increased viewers’ desires to see life behind bars (though the latter program may not provide the most realistic portrait of prison life). If you want a real understanding of how the prison system works, and what life is truly like behind bars, below is a list of our favorite documentaries and series that show just that. We’ll continue to add to this list, to please feel free to check back often.

Girls Incarcerated

At Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility in Indiana, teen girls struggle with conflict and heartbreak as they try to turn their lives around.

Hard Time

Hard Time takes viewers on a yearlong journey behind bars, following the lives of those who work and serve time in two of Georgia’s toughest prisons.


Lockdown has an unseen narrator and each episode discusses different facets of prison life like gangs, maximum security, and hierarchies within the prison.

The Farm: Angola, USA

This award-winning documentary set in the notorious and largest American maximum-security prison Louisiana State Penitentiary.

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