Cool Hand Luke (Stuart Rosenberg, dir.) (1967).  The story of an inmate at a southern prison farm, this film portrays a bygone era of corrections, illustrating the power of total institutions and a unique prison culture.

The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, dir.) (1994).  Based on a short story by Stephen King, this film set in a mid–twentieth century New England prison shows the challenges faced by inmates and staff within the culture of the institution.

Straight Time (Ulu Grosbard, dir.) (1978).  This film follows a recently released inmate as he adjusts to life in the community on parole, including the challenges of reintegrating into free society.

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