3 x 1 Hour

What would you see if you were handed the keys to a prison? For the first time in more than five years, cameras have been allowed behind bars to make a documentary series in an English prison. With exclusive access to HMP Durham, this three-part series offers a rare insight into the challenges that prison staff are up against on a day to day basis. Filmed over 7 months, Prison tells the human story on both sides of the door: staff and prisoners, and the real issues facing them all. Durham is a Remand Centre for the North East of England serving the local courts and prisons. With a vast weekly traffic of prisoners from driving offences to murderers to drug addicts, the prison is faced with ever changing demands, a pressure on bed space and complex prisoner needs. Capturing first-hand the escalating drug problem, the scale of violence that frontline staff and prisoners endure daily and the multiple challenges of dealing with those suffering from mental health issues, the series reflects the national issues currently facing the prison service. The first in the series – Drugs- deals with the epidemic of Spice, the “Zombie” drug, entering the HMP Durham.

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"Compelling viewing, containing unlikely pockets of warmth and humour"

TV Times ★★★★★

"A first rate documentary"

The Guardian, Joe Clay, Critic's Choice

"Astonishing frankness"

Financial Times, Suzi Feay, Pick of the week★★★★★


Commissioning Editor: Nick Mirsky
Series Producer & Director: Paddy Wivell
Executive Producers: Kathy Myers & Richard Melman

A Spring Films Production