Solitary: Docu about Red Onion State Prison

In the docu SOLITARY, filmmaker Kristi Jacobson (A Place At The Table) gained unprecedented- and unrestricted- access to Red Onion State Prison and its residents, capturing its unique sounds and haunting atmosphere.
Built on an Appalachian mountaintop, Red Onion State Prison (one of over 40 super-max prisons across the US) is nearly 300 miles from any urban center, and holds up to 500 prisoners in 8’x10′ solitary confinement cells for 23 hours a day- isolated, and forgotten by the world. Journalists call these prisons “Black Zones” – mysterious places where virtually no press are admitted, and even those few that are are stripped of all recording devices before being allowed on highly observed visits.
In intimate and reflective interviews with the inmates, Jacobs tackles their violent childhoods, the dangers of prison life, and their struggles to maintain sanity in the unrelenting monotony of confinement.
Interwoven with their stories are the voices of the corrections officers, who are serving a different type of time right alongside the prisoners as they struggle to maintain their humanity. As the prison initiates a reform program to reduce the number of inmates held in solitary, the process provides an unexpected window into life on both sides of the bars.
Shot over the course of a whole year, SOLITARY tells the stories of people caught in the complex American penal system and raises provocative questions about punishment in America today.