Best Of The Big House

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History Documentary hosted by Paul Sorvino, published by History Channel in 2002 - English narration

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Image: Best-Of-The-Big-House-Cover.jpg

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They are home to habitual criminals and incorrigibles, with long histories of overcrowding, protests, riots, violence and bloodshed. Visit some of the most intense and intriguing prisons in the United States, as THE BIG HOUSE profiles the penitentiaries, prisoners and wardens that continue to fascinate those on the outside. HISTORY dives deep into the correctional institutions that have hosted some of the world's most infamous criminals, with powerful insights from current and retired prison wardens and correctional officers. Narrated by Paul Sorvino Produced by GREYSTONE COMMUNICATIONS, INC. For THE HISTORY CHANNEL

[edit] Alcatraz

A small island in San Francisco's icy waters, Alcatraz served as a military prison until 1934 when it became a federal maximum-security prison. Housing the "worst of the worst," it was home to "Machine Gun" Kelly and "The Birdman" Robert Stroud. This documentary chronicles the history of "The Rock," including the 1970s Native American occupation.

[edit] Sing Sing

The New York state prison located in Ossining on the Hudson River. Sing Sing inspired the infamous phrase "up the river." Sing Sing housed some of America’s most notorious felons, including Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the spies who were executed there for giving atomic secrets to the Russians.

[edit] Eastern State

America's first prison, Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, became the model for all prisons. It was built in 1829 by the passive Quakers, who believed that solitary confinement was the best way to serve penance. At its completion, the building was the largest and most expensive public structure ever erected. Today it stands in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cell blocks and empty guard towers.

[edit] Leavenworth

Leavenworth U.S. Penitentiary was built in the early 1900s near Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Leavenworth was the largest maximum security federal prison in the United States from 1903 until 2005. Few prisons are more famous than Leavenworth which was the end of the line for such infamous characters as desperado George "Machine Gun" Kelly and mobster George "Bugs" Moran.

[edit] San Quentin

Step inside San Quentin -- California's oldest prison, which contains the state's only gas chamber. Made necessary by Gold Rush lawlessness, and built in 1852 by inmates housed on a prison ship, its history is rife with riots.

[edit] Atlanta

The Federal Penitentiary System was created under the 1891 Three Prisons Act. One of the three, Atlanta opened in 1902. Home to many Prohibition-era organized crime inmates, and closed after damage during a hostage crisis, it reopened in 1993 as a high-level security prison.

[edit] Folsom

An inside-the-walls look at the story of Folsom Prison. Opened in 1880, it experienced the first of many escapes the same year. Designed for habitual felons and incorribibles doing hard time, its history includes 93 hangings between 1895 and 1937.

[edit] Alderson

Alderson Federal Women's Penitentiary in West Virginia was the first federal women's prison in the United States. It was opened in 1928 to reform female offenders, and facility has housed inmates like World War II propaganda broadcaster "Tokyo Rose" and jazz singer Billie Holiday.

[edit] Attica

Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York, was one of the last so-called big house prisons built in the United States. Constructed in 1931 to alleviate overcrowding at Sing Sing, it was the most expensive penal facility of its day. Conditions for prisoners at Attica were harsh, finally leading to riot and prisoner takeover in 1971, "the bloodiest encounter between Americans since the Civil War."

[edit] McNeil Island

McNeil Island, rising from chilly Puget Sound's waters 40 miles south of Seattle, was home to the Federal Penitentiary from 1875 to 1981. Prior to its closing, it was the last remaining island prison in the country. McNeil Island has its share of breakouts and violence, and it was home to Charles Manson and Alvin "Creepy" Karpis.

[edit] Angola

The Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola is one of the largest and most notorious maximum security prisons. Bordered on three sides by the Mississippi river "The Farm" has a particularly harsh reputation. It was once a 19th century plantation, and referred as "worst prison in America". Today "Alcatraz of the South" is home to some 5,000 inmates, most are serving life sentences and are expected to die on the penitentiary grounds and be buried in the prisoner's graveyard.

[edit] East Jersey

East Jersey State Prison, originally Rahway State Prison, was established in 1896 as the first reformatory in New Jersey. In 1901, it opened as a reform school for young offenders. In 1948, idealism gave way to reality and Rahway was turned into a maximum security prison for the toughest prisoners in the state. Among its alumni is boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. East Jersey is the prison where school-aged teens embark on the ultimate field trip -- a visit to the program "Scared Straight."

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: XviD ISO MPEG-4
Video Bitrate: 2689 kbps
Video Resolution: 720x544
Video Aspect Ratio: 1.324:1
Frames Per Second: 29.970
Audio Codec: 0x2000 (Dolby AC3) AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 43:15.419
Number Of Parts: 12
Part Size: 861 - 895 MB
Ripped by: DocFreak08

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