The Big House

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History Documentary hosted by Paul Sorvino, published by History Channel in 2003 - English narration

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Image: The-Big-House-Cover.jpg

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They are home to habitual criminals and incorrigibles and have long histories of overcrowding, protests, riots, violence and bloodshed. Visit some of the most intense and toughest prisons in the world as THE BIG HOUSE profiles the penitentiaries, prisoners and wardens that have made history. From the Maze in Belfast – the scene of many famous moments including the 'Dirty Protests' and Bobby Sands' hunger strike – to LA County Jail, whose inmates have included gangsters like Bugsy Siegel and Mickey Cohen. Go behind the scenes at the jails which have built up a notorious reputation as the home to some of the world's most dangerous men. HISTORY dives deep into the correctional institutions that have hosted some of the world's most infamous criminals. Interviews include current and retired prison wardens and correctional officers. From 23 hours-a-day solitary lockdown to working as a ranch-hand THE BIG HOUSE investigates what it means for criminals who receive the guilty verdict. Produced by Greystone Communications, Inc. For The History Channel

[edit] Oklahoma State Penitentiary

Also known as "Big Mac", the Oklahoma State Penitentiary is a maximum security prison in McAlester and houses some of Oklahoma's most dangerous criminals. The facility opened in 1908 and houses about 1,100 inmates over 1,500 acres in northwest McAlester. Prison also houses Oklahoma's death row and is the site of all of the state's executions. In the wake of two violent riots, Oklahoma State Penitentiary's inmates live in solitary confinement.

[edit] Maine State Prison

The Maine State Prison in Thomaston was built in 1823 to resemble other "dark and comfortless abodes of guilt and wretchedness" of the day, was closed in February of 2002 after 178 years of housing inmates, and 461 prisoners were moved to a new facility in the neighboring town of Warren. Institution was opened officially in July, 1824 to serve as a penitentiary where convicts were sentenced to hard labor and had always been a maximum security facility for adult felons. Over the years, the prisoners became well known for their woodworking skills, and handmade wood items like ship models have become collectibles.

[edit] Auburn

The State Penitentiary in Auburn, New York is the centerpiece of a city and a monument to one of America's first attempts at criminal rehabilitation. Its founders were liberal prison reformers who believed their task could be accomplished through penitence, hard work, and silence. The "Auburn System" was adopted by most U.S. prisons in the early 1900s. Now, all that remains of that system is hard work--and hard time--for the most violent offenders in New York State.

[edit] Florida State at Raiford

During the first half of the 20th century, Florida prisoners were sent to the state prison farm near Raiford. Established on an 18,000-acre tract in 1913, the main unit was known as "The Rock." Over 45,000 men, women, and some children spent time in Florida's prison farms and road camps between 1913 and 1956. The majority of inmates were African American men, and the prison system was defined by racial segregation and expectations of black deference to white guards and inmates. The staff prided itself on the fact that not one escape was successful in 72 years of operation.

[edit] Parchman

State Prison, Parchman Mississippi... A land without visible boundries... Originally a slave plantation ruled by the whip... Today its most important crop is neither food or cotton... but prisoners. 75 percent are African-American. During its hundred-thirty year history, Parchman has embodied the traditions and folk wisdom of the American south in a way no other prison ever has. Its legacy includes brutal executions in the State's gas chamber and conjugal visits for the best behaved convicts. A large number of "lifers" have prepared themselves to die here. A few hold out hope of early release.

[edit] Central Prison

Central Prison in Raleigh, is the first stop for all of North Carolina's male felons with sentences of 20 years or longer. It's also the last stop for men and women sentenced to death. Today, Central is a modern state-of-the-art prison, but it began as a dark dungeon built nearly 120 years ago.

[edit] Montana State Prison

Herds of livestock roam here under the big Montana sky. Cowboys and wranglers watch over them. But these are not ordinary ranch hands. And this is no ordinary ranch. Welcome to the State Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana. 1,300 high and medium security inmates live here. Their range of crimes includes murder and robbery as well as drug possession and sex crimes. In its present day setting, Montana State Prison operates efficiently as both a ranch and a modern high security fortress. But it's legacy is dark and its history is marked by violent uprisings, inhumane conditions and brutality. We'll see where the story began --five miles away from the current cellblocks in the state's original stone prison -- now a relic and tourist attraction that looks like a castle. We'll meet inmates who work on the prison's farm and dairy as well as violent offenders who hold jobs as-- telemarketers.

[edit] Lewisburg Federal

The Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary is one of 114 United States institutions for criminals who have committed federal offenses. The prison opened in 1932 as the fourth national federal prison for men. It is now a maximum-security facility home to approximately 1,500 inmates. Lewisburg has been the temporary home to some of America's most controversial and intriguing criminals, such as mobsters John Gotti and Al Capone. Besides Mafia leaders, the Lewisburg Penitentiary has housed other famous men, including civil rights leader Bayard Rustin and accused Soviet spy Alger Hiss. Today prison is now home to those inmates who are dubbed the most disruptive and difficult to control at other federal prisons around the country.

[edit] The Maze

Located near Belfast, Maze Prison held both Catholic and Protestant prisoners, members of paramilitary groups like the Irish Republican Army. The prison consists of 8 H-shaped cellblocks with cameras, searchlights, 16-foot walls, and guard towers. Outside, British soldiers patrol. We investigate several incidents, including: the Blanket Protests, when IRA inmates refused to wear uniforms; the Dirty Protest, when prisoners smeared human waste on prison walls; and the Bobby Sand hunger strike.

[edit] Colorado State

It is Colorado's oldest penitentiary, nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Southern Colorado.It can trace its roots back to the days of frontier justice. Welcome to the State Prison in Canon City, Colorado. It's more than just a penitentiary--today, it's a clearing house for most of the convicted male felons in the state. Their ages range from 19 to 66 years old. Their sentences, anything from one year to life in prison. Institution has housed prisoners ranging from cannibal Alfred Packer to a heavyweight boxing contender.

[edit] L.A. County Jail

The largest prison system in the free world, its 20,000 male and female inmates reflect the crimes and racial tensions of Los Angeles County. The challenge is staggering--feed 75,000 meals a day and keep an estimated 16,000 gang members from killing each other! Welcome to LA County Jail with an inmate roster that reads like a Who's Who of national crime stories--Bugsy Siegel, Mickey Cohen, Robert Mitchum, Robert Blake, Charles Manson...all passed through its standing-room-only holding tanks.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: XviD ISO MPEG-4
Video Bitrate: 2126 kbps
Video Resolution: 720x544
Video Aspect Ratio: 1.324:1
Frames Per Second: 25.000
Audio Codec: 0x2000 (Dolby AC3) AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 44mn
Number Of Parts: 11
Part Size: 744 MB
Ripped by: DocFreak08

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