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September 3 2006

30 Days, Season 2, Episode 6:Prison

Before I delve in to this episode of 30 Days, let me just say the press reports of Morgan giving up on day 21 were BS. Nice work once again journalists! He did leave at 28 days, but that was in occurdance with serving 85% of your sentance.

Morgan Spurlock, series creator, did his one episode for the season by going in to the Henrico County Jail in Richmond, VA. This episode flowed much better than the majority of this seasons’s enteries, and I think it’s because Morgan knows what he’s doing. He knows how to immerse himself in the subject and not drift so much and how to ask questions those people around him. He explored different aspects of prison life from working in the kitchen, spending 72 hours in solitary, and transferring to another prison in the same system that focuses on drug rehab. All questions to ask yourself.

The episode was interesting, but really ddin’t go anywhere new that a dozen other documentries on prison life haven’t gone. Our prisons are stuffed beyond capacity, little to no help in sight, and a system that doesn’t really do anything but constantly feed upon itself. Two of the men Morgan got close to both got out around the time he was in, both said they hoped to turn over a new leaf, but at the end of the episode we learned both had been rearrested.

This episode was more of the type I like though as it could easily spark discussions about are our drug laws too harsh? Is it worth over stuffing our prisons if we don’t take the time to work with the inmates in any form, not giving them a structured life they could learn from? Are all we’re doing is keeping the cycle alive, and if so, for what reasons?



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  • I think the report on leaving after 21 days referred to his leaving the main prison and going to the drug rehab facility. They just wern’t aware of the second jail and misreported, probably.

    I agree that it turned out to be mostly a common prison docu, but with Spurlock’s twist and a more subjective viewpoint. It also lacked breadth–it only showed a single prison type, which was probably very unrepresentative of what most prisons in the US are like.