In going behind bars of Georgia's correctional system, each episode of this series examines one aspect of the state's paramilitary approach to their prisoners, the idea being treat them like highly disciplined soldiers and they will stop acting like criminals. Over the course of a year, cameras capture both those who work in the system and those housed within it -- from nonviolent offenders in a boot camp to hardened criminals in "Hi-Max," the environment that allows the most extreme disciplinary methods.
This documentary series takes viewers inside prisons and jails across America and around the world, offering rarely obtained and comprehensive access into these locations. The show profiles the inmates and employees who work at these facilities, highlighting their day-to-day experiences and interactions within the confines of prison. By bringing audiences the real, raw stories of life behind bars, this program aims to provide a truly authentic and in-depth look inside the complex criminal justice system.
"Lockdown" plunges viewers headfirst into life in the "big house," the gritty underworld of America's maximum-security prisons, where gangs are prevalent, predators stalk their next prey and inmates are armed with deadly weapons. But prison officials have their own weapons in the form of modern surveillance and old-time isolation -- plus steel batons and pepper spray -- to help keep the peace in these miniature war zones.
Despite cameras and guards monitoring their every move, some prisoners are daring enough to test the system and execute a breakout. Told from the perspectives of both the escapees and the law enforcement teams tracking them, this series documents some of recent history's high-profile jailbreaks and the various methods officials use to outsmart the criminals, leading to their eventual recapture.
Cameras go behind the crumbling walls of San Quentin State Prison in California, where overcrowding and lack of modernization are blamed for an ever-increasing number of inmate attacks on guards. The facility, which has four cell blocks containing more than 800 prisoners each, also houses a number of death row inmates. As one guard bluntly explains, the attitude of many of the prisoners on death row is "You can only kill me once," so officers are on constant guard against attack.
Oxygen's long-running "Snapped" true-crime series takes a look at cases involving women who are accused of murder. In "Snapped: She Made Me Do It," women are the supposed masterminds behind deadly acts, but aren't necessarily the ones accused of the crimes. As is customary with these types of shows, witness testimony, interviews with experts and dramatic reenactments are used to tell the story of each case. Viewers get both sides of the story in each case before finding out the jury's verdict. Romance is often at the core of the attacks.
CNN is by and large still a cable news outlet, but a movement under the leadership of network president Jeff Zucker to provide more alternative, entertainment-based programming is clearly afoot, and "Death Row Stories" is a prime example. The eight-part documentary -- the result of a collaboration with Academy Award-winning directors Robert Redford ("Ordinary People") and Alex Gibney ("Taxi to the Dark Side") -- revisits compelling capital murder cases in the U.S., detailing the twists and turns involved in each as a thought-provoking exercise on the death penalty and the American justice system. "Dead Man Walking" Oscar winner Susan Sarandon is the narrator. Redford's Sundance Productions also partnered with CNN for the documentary series "Chicagoland."